When Brunel’s Paddington Station opened in 1854, a new commercial hub was born. Not only did the Great Western Railway create a convenient – somewhat luxurious – connection between London, Maidenhead and Bristol, but Paddington itself was transformed into a bustling centre for business, trade, and socialising. What was once a low-key residential area by Regents Canal saw a newly opened Great Western Hotel, offices, boardrooms and a Royal waiting room constructed on Eastbourne Terrace.
Fast forward to 2020 – what’s changed? The Royal waiting room might not get much use these days, but the offices and boardrooms are now busier than ever. In fact, this is a trend across London stations, with The Office Group making use of original office space to create flexible work space in six of London’s major transport hubs, as well as in Bristol and Leeds stations. And all of them offer a novel seconds-long journey between platform and desk.
This convenience of location plays into a recent culture shift in flexible working. As the COVID-19 pandemic quietened London’s streets, closed its shops and emptied its restaurants earlier this year, many made the decision to flee the city for greener, airier spaces. Some reports suggest that as many as 1.6 million Londoners (some 26 per cent of the city’s working population) have chosen to leave the capital to work remotely at some point in 2020.
But work, and central work spaces, remain a necessity for many – and suddenly, these station locations across London have become destinations in their own right, perfect for those who’ve chosen to leave town this year, but who nevertheless need a forward base in the big smoke.
As with all TOG's spaces, members can access any of our six London station buildings, each with a rich variety of meeting rooms, breakout spaces and lounge areas, which offer teams the flexibility to meet and work together in the right environment, at the right time. Here, we explore TOG’s station workplaces to see how they support this new kind of remote working.