If you’re freelance – and with employers gradually moving towards more flexible working arrangements, many many more people are turning freelance every day – you’ll be well aware of the positives and negatives. Positives? Waking up at midday every single day, working on whatever you want when you want and where you want. Negatives? No pension, meaning you’ll end up living in the sewers in your dotage, using rats for pillows.
But the biggest minus point about being freelance is the lack of workplace camaraderie. Stood over the photocopier quietly picking apart your boss’s every foible? You can’t buy cathartic pleasure like that. However, you can set up a vague simulation of a typical workplace, with the added bonus of far-more charming and friendly staff – simply head to one of the bars and restaurants below. They all have great WiFi and the perfect atmosphere for getting your work done, minus the polystyrene ceiling tiles and fluorescent strip lighting.
Here are our picks
Hawksmoor, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3WB - Visit now
This grand building is the perfect place to hang out, get some work done and chit-chat with the always-friendly staff. And if you have a particularly productive day, feel free to reward yourself with a massive hunk of beef. You’re worth it.
Dakota Bar & Grill Manchester, 29 Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2JL - Visit now
The bar and restaurant space for this dazzling new Northern Quarter hotel is an ideal place to kick back and get a whole bunch of work done. Best of all, you can while away the hours eavesdropping on the worker bees travelling in and out of the city.
Common Bar, 39-47 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now
Those who know, know. Common is one of the best workspaces in the Northern Quarter, with lightning-fast WiFi, plenty of plug sockets and a ton of other freelancers all doing the same thing, just itching to share tips and gripes.
Burgess Cafe Bar at IABF, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5BY - Visit now
It might be small but it’s perfectly formed. The Burgess cafe bar has just a handful of seats but it makes for a great place to knuckle down to whatever work you have lined up for the day. The piles of books add a sense of ‘serious creative at work’, which as any good freelancer knows, is what we tell ourselves.