5 November 2018

The Ins and Outs of Shoreditch: November

Christmas is fast approaching and this means that festive decorations are aplenty all over London. Near and around our serviced office space, Shoreditch is no different. You can expect to see all of the local businesses taking part in celebrating this wonderful time of the year. There’s plenty of things to see and do this month to get into the Christmas spirit.

Where to eat

Working in the neighbourhood of Shoreditch has its perks, including a variety of places to eat. As it approaches the festive season, there’s also plenty of offers available. Busaba Bangkok Thai offers a casual and contemporary setting that’s great value for money and therefore a godsend on your bank balance. They’re currently offering a Christmas Banquet or Feast that are great for big groups. Office Christmas party anyone?

If you fancy something a little more upmarket for a fraction of the price, Nobu has a delicious afternoon tea menu for just £30 per person. This festive treat includes your standard selection of sandwiches, hot beverages and a glass of prosecco.

Where to go for a drink

When it comes to our shared office space, Shoreditch is the perfect location for group drinks. If you want something a little different, Ballie Ballerson is the perfect venue to drink and bring out the inner child. It’s the first ball pit bar to ever come to London and is a fun atmosphere whether you’re on a first date or having after work drinks with colleagues.

Famous for its main ball pit that GLOWS, the venue also offers some very nostalgic cocktails that pay homage to the sweets you enjoyed way back when. They also do a boozy bottomless brunch with two hours of unlimited prosecco – but perhaps save that one for the weekend.

Another spot to visit is Cirque, another quirky bar that offers happy hour on cocktails for just two for £10. With its eccentric interiors, it’s a great spot if you’re new to the area.

What else is going on?

Ever been to a pop-up event? It’s a great way to discover new businesses and there’s another one coming to Shoreditch on the 9th November.  Chicken n Beer has thrown pop-up parties all over London and this time, Flavas is playing host. It’s expected to sell out so if you love festival style food and drink and twerking badly in front of strangers, this is your scene.

Since gin is no longer the spirit enjoyed mainly by the older generations, London has become a popular attraction for various cocktail bars, emporiums and festivals all dedicated to Gin. The Gin Journey London is a tour through the neighbourhood of Shoreditch. You’re chauffeured from one bar to the next where you’ll enjoy many samples of this spirit in different forms. It’s a great one if you’re celebrating a birthday and need to control a crowd of friends.

If you’re looking for an office space, Shoreditch is the ideal spot that offers more than traditional offices do. We’ll be bringing you our picks of the best it has to offer every month. Make sure to keep checking the blog to get all of our recommendations.

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31 October 2018

Make the Most of Your Serviced Office Space: Setting Up Your Space

When it comes to designing the layout and décor of your office, the process is as much about inspiration as anything else. Here, Proper Office outline how you can set up your space for maximum impact and efficiency.

The first thing to do is identify the main goals you have in mind for the new space. You may want to prioritise collaboration, in which case you’ll want to ensure breakout areas and spaces that encourage and allow working together, such as a space large enough to hold bigger meetings, or somewhere where everyone can eat and have lunch meetings together.

Other possible objectives you may have in mind could be preparing for future growth, increasing productivity, projecting a certain brand and image to workers and clients, or making it a place that attracts and retains workers.

It’s a good idea to look at what other companies in your industry, or even within the same shared office space, are doing, so you can discover any best practices. Not only is this good for design, but for practical reasons, too. This inspiration can work both ways, too – Amazon’s recently built UK headquarters was designed to mirror the sort of flexible, shared office space Shoreditch built its reputation on.

You will also need to take into consideration the practical elements, such as ample space for technology and equipment, as well as enough storage and the security of the storage.

When it comes to the design, every decision can make a difference. The colour of your décor can dictate the mood, the openness of the kitchen can dictate how people move around it, how they socialise, and even effect their moods. Multiple studies have shown that employees based in offices with more creative, inviting décor are happier and more productive as a result.

Next, think about your employees, and how the nature of their roles dictates how they work. For example, open spaces that encourage collaboration are great for designers, but for those working intensely on their own work, having a space that prioritises concentration will be more effective.

One major factor to consider here is sound. It depends on how much leverage you have to design the office, but trying to keep at least one are separate for loud or private meetings, and keeping breakout areas away from desks, are a few ways to design the office with concentration in mind.

The design will also massively depend on the type of office you are moving into. If you are based in a shared office space, for example, you may have the layout already done for you. In this case, you can focus energy and budget on the décor. Do you want the office to be filled with fresh flowers, modern lighting or bookshelves full of books?

Again, this comes down to the nature of the business and what you want to encourage in employees, and how you want the office to make them feel. Regardless of whether they’re based in the headquarters of a large company or the sort of shared, serviced office Old Street has to offer, everyone works better in a space that’s been set up right.

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25 October 2018

Meet the Professional

This month for our ‘Meet the Professional’ series we spoke with Victoria Vannicola, Marketing & Content Strategist at Snapppt, a company that drives sales via Instagram. We sat down with Victoria to find out more about herself and her career.

What are the main things you do in your role?
I create campaigns for brands, match influencers with brands and campaigns, create social plans – IG/FB/Twitter and formulate analytics based on brands x influencer // overall reach (success) they had.

What are the first three things you do when you get to the office in the morning?
1. Check my emails
2. Open up Business of Fashion + Refinery 29 for ideas + industry news
3. Scan through influencers to check for new content

How did you get your start in your career?

I started working with Childrenswear – attending trade shows, I realized that I loved being with the people and being able to ‘sell’ a vision. I then moved into a PR role for a marketing company – this is where my passion for analytics and the science behind what makes the world of social stemmed.

What is your favourite thing about what you do?

Being able to create content – envisioning a campaign and having it come to life through the brand and handpicked influencers is so much fun!

What is your least favourite thing about what you do?

I think the worst part is telling someone they aren’t a good fit for a campaign, even though it isn’t personal.

Where do you work: rented space, serviced office, owned office, co-working space?

Owned office

How important is office environment to you?

Very important – if you don’t feel comfortable with your surroundings, your productivity definitely goes down. I hate feeling like I’m locked up in a quiet zone – work shouldn’t feel like a school library!

Do you prefer open plan or individual offices?

Open plan, but for meetings and video calls I do prefer an individual office.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

Psychologist

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting in the business?

It’s easy for people to make it seem like your job isn’t as important as theirs, they don’t understand the power of influencers & how important a campaign can be in the world of marketing. Big or Small – give every account everything you have. Do not get discouraged if not all your ideas work, it’s a learning curve!

Did you have a mentor?

No

Is there a motto or quote that you live by?

No one is promised tomorrow. Don’t take today for granted. We all have days where life just seems impossible – it’s important to remember that we need to enjoy every moment, don’t take anything for granted.

What keeps you awake at night?

How much work I know I have to do in the morning…. #procrastination

We hope you enjoyed learning about Victoria. Watch this space for our monthly ‘Meet the Professional’ series, where we will be interviewing a new professional each month and sharing everything from what they do, to what keeps them up at night with you from our serviced office space, Shoreditch based. Did you get a chance to read about Karen Lane in our last ‘Meet the Professional’ post? Karen is the MD at Plus 1 Communications in London business center Shoreditch, where she and her team thrive.

If you’re looking for an office space, Shoreditch has many – Proper Office is a great option with a friendly staff that will help cater to individual’s needs. Contact us today to find what we have available.

 

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5 October 2018

The Ins and Outs of Shoreditch: October

Shoreditch has become the place to be – whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or in need of some inspiration or excitement. It’s also become the number one place to base your small business or start-up, with its diverse and creative community, and plenty of shared office space. Shoreditch has so much to offer that we’ll be publishing a monthly guide to the ins and outs of the area. For October, we take a look at some of the best places to eat, drink and be merry near our premises.

Where to eat:

Cereal Killer Café

It started with a bang when two bearded brothers set up the country’s first ever cereal café in 2014 on Brick Lane. Since then, the divisive hipster duo have won over the capital’s taste buds, and even had to move to larger premises on the opposite side of Brick Lane. But don’t worry – it’s still decked out with enough retro memorabilia to send you on a trip down memory lane.

It may not be the most conventional choice for dinner, but its cereal concoctions are surprisingly filling – and tasty. Choose from a variety of milks – including non-dairy options, as well as chocolate milk – and a tonne of cereals from the UK and US, and finish with a variety of toppings. They also offer a variety of other food options, but we recommend keeping to the classic cereal. Oh, and you can top it off with a pretty impressive selection of decadent milkshakes.

Where to go for a drink:

Bar Three

This chic, stripped-back basement cocktail bar in Spitalfields is a good old-fashioned option for a fuss-free, well-made cocktail. Each one is created with care and precision, and your taste buds will thank you for it.

The interior design at Bar Three is the perfect balance of sleek, and cosy and chilled out, with many low-lit nooks and corners to cosy up into. It’s the perfect after-work drinks atmosphere, right in the heart of Shoreditch.

What else is going on?

There’s never a shortage of things to do in Shoreditch. And as the weather cools and the leaves begin to fall, there’s no better time of year to appreciate nature, and there’s no better way to appreciate nature than with a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market.

It’s one of London’s most popular weekend markets, with vendors filling the narrow street and selling everything from succulents and cacti to humble houseplants, bouquets and herbs.

Shoreditch is one of London’s best places to work and explore, which is why we’ll be bringing you our picks of the best it has to offer every month. Make sure to keep checking the blog to get all of our recommendations.

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1 October 2018

Make the Most of Your Serviced Office Space: Networking Tips

Networking often sounds harder than it actually is. At its core, networking is simply making yourself available for conversations with new people in and related to your industry of work, and making new contacts that could serve you in the future.

But networking, while it has many benefits, is often difficult to fit into a schedule that involves spending most of your time working in an office with people you already know. It can often mean having to go to after-work drinks and events, which aren’t always practical – and where people are usually keen to leave their work at the door.

And herein lies just one of the many benefits of a serviced office space. Shoreditch may have plenty of other venues for meeting new people, but an advantage of a space like Proper Office is that you’re given the opportunity to interact with professionals working at all sorts of different companies during your working day. Here’s how to take advantage of that, and keep on top of your networking game.

Be prepared

The best networkers are the ones with their elevator pitch memorised and a dozen business cards in their top pocket.

No one would advise memorising your entire spiel, but it’s worth putting in some time to ensure you don’t waste time when it comes to opening lines. Have a clear-cut opening line for when you meet someone new and they ask you about your role and the company you work for.

Likewise, if you’re working on a big project you’re looking for outside help on, it’s worth being sure you can summarise this in a nutshell, in case it comes up in conversation and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.

Listen

The best impression anyone can give is being a good listener. And this doesn’t just mean appearing to listen with the odd nod and affirmative noise – it means really listening. This way, you can ask insightful questions and make others feel interesting and important – any conversation goes two ways, and you should be thinking about more than what you need from someone. Being a good listener will ensure you come away from a conversation liked and remembered. Remember that

Take advantage of shared office space

The best opportunities for networking will come at times when you least expect it. You may just meet someone interesting while warming your food up in the microwave.

To take advantage of this, make sure you get away from your desk on breaks and at lunch, to make use of communal space. This is much easier in a shared office space; Shoreditch has many to offer, as well as further afield in London and beyond.

See if your office has a communal breakout area downstairs. You never know what business opportunities you’ll come across while making lunch or playing a game of ping pong in Proper Office’s breakout space or rooftop area, for example. Spend some time in these communal areas winding down and talking to those working in other offices. Shared offices may also have communal kitchens, gardens, or may even have regular after-work drinks between offices.

Whether you’re networking in a shared office space, Old Street bar or at a pre-arranged networking event, taking the time to interact and engage with people can be a crucial part of opening up new business opportunities – and you never know when those opportunities could arise.

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14 September 2018

Meet the Professionals of London: Karen Lane

With its reputation as London’s start-up and small business centre, Shoreditch is home to some of the city’s most driven and engaging professionals. You’ll find a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise working away within the office space Old Street and its surroundings have on offer, and we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to pick their brains for advice, tips and inspiration.

This week we will be profiling Karen Lane, Group Managing Director at Plus 1 Communications, an integrated storytelling agency based in our serviced office space on Great Eastern Street. We sat down with Karen to find out more about herself and her career.

What are the main things you do in your role?

At P1C, we pride ourselves on creating profitable partnerships. We describe ourselves as modern storytellers, but essentially, we are a communications company that aim to convey brands stories across an ever changing, technically evolving consumer landscape. We know that the bottom line is an issue for every business, so it is essential that we balance creativity with commercial sense. My fundamental role is to develop long term partnerships that eventually create profitable results for clients, staff and of course shareholders. The diversity of roles that I undertake is huge but I guess that’s the same for all managing directors.

What are the first three things you do when you get to the office in the morning?

I am always online from 6am to check in with the teams in Dubai and Mumbai so by the time I get to the office there are usually a lot of updates. As soon as I reach the office I always catch up with my London team, take a sip of my green juice or sugar free Red Bull (depends on the day), and check my spreadsheets!

How did you get your start in your career? 

After graduating in Mathematics, I spent my early years working in the UAE and India. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time as is the case for many things in life. The key is recognising the opportunity, having a real passion for something and then taking a chance.

What is your favourite thing about what you do?

Diversity. The opportunity to interact with a wide range of people on a daily basis and being able to work with like-minded people to help grow their businesses.

What is your least favourite thing about what you do? 

That I sometimes have to accept that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t please everyone.

Where do you work: rented space, serviced office, owned office, co-working space etc? Why?

I work in a serviced office space. Shoreditch offers many office solutions and I must admit I love the convenience the space offers. I appreciate that everything is taken care of for me from my phone bills to my internet connection – the staff at Proper Office make sure no detail is spared and it takes a lot of unneeded stress off my plate.

How important is office environment to you?  

We spend so much time at work, so it’s important to me to create a positive and productive environment to ensure my employees happiness and well-being.

Do you prefer open plan or individual offices? Why?

I like an open plan office space so that I can be integrated fully within my team and in turn so that they can collaborate with each other easily. We are a communications agency so conversation is essential! Although, there are days when a soundproofed cell also seems inviting!

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

I would almost definitely still be doing something in media, maybe in the film industry! Alternatively, I would have set up a French bulldog day care centre with the first 2 residents as my two French bulldogs, Pixie and Raven.

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting in the business? 

Be realistic. Don’t be discouraged when something doesn’t go right in the first instance as it rarely does. Be honest and friendly and respect everyone you work with, as you need good friends and people to help you get to your end goal. The glass must be half full so only work with people that say ‘I can’ and not ‘I can’t’, but also don’t beat yourself up when things fail. Just learn and move on.

Did you have a mentor?

I have had the privilege of working and learning from many great entrepreneurs, so it is hard to single one out and I do have the daily guidance from a wonderful set of board members, which is a great benefit.

Is there a motto or quote that you live by?

Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons.

What keeps you awake at night?  

As anyone who owns a business knows, it is tough and there is a lot of personal responsibility towards your staff, creditors and shareholders but equally the excitement of knowing that tomorrow is another day full of possibilities. The fact is, that if you do not wake up excited to get going, then you are in the wrong job or business. I simply love what I do.

If you enjoyed learning about Karen, watch this space for our monthly ‘Meet the Professional’ series, where we will be interviewing a new professional each month and sharing everything from what they do, to what keeps them up at night.

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23 August 2018

Where to eat, drink and be merry in Shoreditch this September

The Ins and Outs of Shoreditch: September

Over the previous decade, Shoreditch has more than secured its place as one of the country’s best places to locate your small business or start-up – and there’s a reason for that, beyond the excellent professional community and global tech hub of the so called ‘Silicon Roundabout’. It’s also a social and cultural hotspot, with plenty of restaurants, bars and events venues to choose from.

In the first of our new monthly series exploring the ins and outs of the Shoreditch area, we take a look at some of the best places to eat, drink and be merry near our premises.

Where to eat:

MEATMission

As you may have gathered from its name, there are plenty of meaty menu options to choose from at MEATMission, from burgers and wings to their trademarked monkey fingers – strips of chicken coated in batter and sweet chili sauce. What may not be quite as clear is that Mission part of the name is a reference to the former use of the restaurant’s premises – a Victorian era mission.

Inside, the mixture of the religious setting, pop art decorations and neon lighting, combines to create an atmosphere that’s halfway between a quirky cocktail bar and a medieval chapel. It’s certainly one of the most unique restaurants in the area, as well as being one of the most photogenic, if you’re someone who likes to capture for Instagram posterity.

Where to go for a drink:

Trapeze

Another Shoreditch haunt that succeeds on the strength of its quirky décor, Trapeze describes itself as displaying ‘faded circus glamour’, with its ceiling covered in trapeze harnesses and various other circus related equipment. Of course, décor and ambience can only get a bar so far, and Trapeze also delivers when it comes to its drinks selection, cocktail menu, and its award-winning happy hour – lasting from 4-10pm Monday to Wednesday, and 4-8pm Thursday to Saturday.

There’s also a basement bar and dance floor, that plays host to events and DJs late into the night, making it an ideal place for both after work drinks, and an after drinks night out.

What else is going on?

The Shoreditch Design Triangle

As the London Design Festival prepares to celebrate the city as ‘the design capital of the world’ throughout September, its Shoreditch centric offshoot, the Shoreditch Design Triangle, will also be gearing up.

From the 15th to the 23rd of September, Shoreditch will become a giant open-air museum, with a number of free exhibitions, installations and art projects to be found– ranging from a fresh look at the story of the humble chair, to several innovative, immersive outdoor spaces for relaxing and exploring, including one made entirely from the sustainable Mexican fibre sisal. It’s a perfect opportunity to see the streets and spaces you pass every day completely transformed into something intriguing and inspiring – so make sure to keep your eyes out!

Shoreditch is one of London’s best places to work and explore, which is why we’ll be bringing you our picks of the best it has to offer every month. Make sure to keep checking the blog to get all of our recommendations.

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23 August 2018

Why a Serviced Office Could be the Optimal Solution for You

Traditionally, when companies wanted to set up an office space, they would have to buy or lease a space. However, in this millennium you have the option of office spaces that are already made for you, offering a new kind of convenience.

Coined as ‘the new kid on the block’ – co-working spaces are a trend on the rise, gaining popularity as they attract young freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups looking for somewhere fun and cool to work.

While co-working spaces are great, especially if you want a lively atmosphere and somewhere you can come and go as you please – they don’t offer things many have come to expect from an office, such as privacy, consistent availability of breakout spaces and meeting rooms, and a professional environment.

The solution? A serviced office.

While not as much a trendy buzzword as co-working spaces, serviced offices offer many of the same benefits but with several added bonuses.

What is a Serviced Office Space?

A serviced office space is an office that is all set up and ready for its tenants to start using the moment they’ve signed the lease. This means that furniture is already in place, phone lines and internet cables are installed and the utilities are taken care of. All the tenant has to do is show up and get to work.

Not only is your office set up taken care of, your office space will include managed reception services, administrative support, cleaning services and security to give you peace of mind.

Just like a co-working space, serviced offices include communal spaces and conference rooms for tenants to use. However, unlike co-working spaces, tenants have the option to retreat to their office for a quiet and professional atmosphere in which to work in or stay to socialise and collaborate with co-workers or other tenants of the space.

Serviced office spaces also have the benefit of shared office equipment such as fax machines, AV equipment, copiers, etc.

What Sets Proper Office Apart

Serviced office spaces have the disadvantage of sometimes having a generic and unpersonalised space, which can deter potential clients. Lack of character however, is not the case at Proper Office, as our two serviced office spaces in the heart of Shoreditch feature communal spaces bursting with personality, which can be seen through its modern furnishings and decoration, the presence of daily fruit flavoured water, snacks and our friendly staff who are always happy to help out with a smile on their face.

As an added bonus, our location at 2 Bath Place features a ping pong table, while 64 Great Eastern street features a charming rooftop garden offering a relaxing common space for tenants to enjoy or to share with their clients for a scenic meeting place. Something else that sets Proper Office apart from co-working spaces and serviced office spaces alike is the personalisation we offer to each and every one of our tenants, from services and amenities to personalised touches to their private offices. For example, one of our tenants requested a seating area in their office, a request that we happily fulfilled – we delivered to them a comfortable sofa and arm chair, ensuring they had a dedicated area to entertain clients as well as a place to relax as a team.

As we hope you can see, a serviced office is a great office solution and we hope you’ll consider Proper Office should you decide it is the right solution for you.

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