Edinburgh has been voted the UK's number one co-working hotspot in a new report, but what are the benefits of using these hubs for contractors?
For limited company contractors, freelancers and other self-employed workers, visiting a co-working space can provide a welcome change from working independently at home.
According to new research from MoneySuperMarket, Edinburgh is the place in the UK where co-working is most popular. But why is this growing trend especially popular in the Scottish capital, and what other benefits aside from company and a change of scenery can it provide for contractors?
The best places for co-working in the UK
You'd be forgiven for expecting London to be the UK's co-working capital, but the city didn't even feature in the top five locations for co-working.
Edinburgh came out on top, with respondents to the MoneySuperMarket survey ranking it highly in terms of its broadband speeds, affordable business insurance rates and co-working space costs, all of which contributed to it being named the best place for collaborative working hubs.
Leeds came in second place. Although it only had a few available co-working spaces at the time of research, they were among the cheapest and the city also had some of the lowest volumes of business insurance claims out of all those analysed.
In third place was Bristol, which was found to have particularly fast broadband speeds and low business rates, while Northampton came in fourth on the list, with similarly rapid internet speeds. Another factor contributing to Northampton's high ranking is likely to be that it is home to the SEMLEP Growth Hub, where self-employed individuals and budding entrepreneurs can receive advice on growing and financing their business ventures.
Nottingham completed the top five, thanks to it having some of the lowest co-working space costs in the whole of the UK.
So where did London actually come on the list? It can be found in 16th place, predictably due to its high business space costs, which dragged its respectable score for its good broadband coverage down.
There were just two locations ranked below London on MoneySuperMarket's list: Newcastle and Brighton and Hove, which took 17th and 18th place respectively.
It's clear that co-working is a popular and affordable option in many parts of the UK, but what other benefits can this way of working have for limited company contractors?
How co-working can benefit contractors and freelancers
There are multiple benefits to collaborative working aside from preventing the cabin fever that can be associated with working from home alone for prolonged periods of time.
The networking opportunities that co-working provides can help contractors and freelancers to develop their own business knowledge and learn from others in a similar position.
Getting to know others in the same line of work can lead to opportunities for collaboration too and may even result in word-of-mouth recommendations to clients, increasing a contractor's profile in their sector.
A change of scenery and some other like-minded people to bounce ideas off can be just what workers need to see their business venture through a fresh pair of eyes, enabling them to approach challenges from a new perspective and continue on the road to success.