Manchester’s top 8 freelancer friendly spaces: Work anywhere but home

Creative Tourist

A tried and tested list of the city’s top spaces for working on the go – complete with laid-back staff and plug sockets a-plenty.

An unreliable work pattern and sketchy job security are the top two freelancer concerns. Closely following on, however, is the dilemma of where to work when your kitchen table just doesn’t cut it. The following are our top alternatives, whatever your work load. The golden rule of café surfing? Order a drink every two hours, or risk being that freelancer…

Here are our picks

  • 1. TAKK

    Takk cafe in Manchester.

    TAKK, 6 Tariff Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2FF - Visit now

    With individual wooden desks, no shortage of sockets and baristas that can knock-out one of the best flat whites in Manchester, Takk is the nirvana of freelance-friendly cafés, and works hard to maintain its title. This Tariff Street stalwart is known for attracting as many customers in the company of their laptops as those there with friends. Food is reasonably priced and coffee is taken very (very) seriously.

  • 2. Chapter 1 Books

    Photo of a new releases bookshelf

    Chapter 1 Books, 19 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1BY - Visit now

    A fountain at the front and a row of vintage typewriters at the back make this bookshop-cum-cafe a temple of quirky charm and a hidden gem for those in want of comfortable chairs, or an impressive array of Margaret Atwood books. The bookshop atmosphere is very much respected, meaning noisy neighbouring tables are not an issue at Chapter 1.

  • 3. Ziferblat Manchester

    Ben Williams

    Ziferblat Manchester, 23 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now

    The idea behind Ziferblat is simple: help yourself to as much tea and cake as you desire, and pay instead for the time you spend. Clocking in at 6p per minute, you’d think it wouldn’t be entirely ideal for long-haul working – but if you drink caffeine the way a chain smoker inhales cigarettes, it quickly becomes worth the money. The vibe is similar to your favourite grandma’s living room and Freelancer Friday’s are an actual event here.

  • 4. Manchester Central Library

    Manchester Central Library
    Photograph by Mike Peel ( [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5PD - Visit now

    It was a long time coming, but the revamp was worth the wait. Manchester Central Library is now an awe-inspiring cathedral to books, film and archive. As public places to work go, the circular reading room is just about unbeatable – particularly for its idiosyncratic echo. Put your phone on silent and enjoy people watching as much as the space itself.

  • 5. The John Rylands Library

    The historic Reading Room in John Rylands Library
    Image courtesy of John Rylands Library.

    The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EH - Visit now

    If variety is the spice of life, the gothic architecture of John Rylands Library will not fail to pique your interest. Tourists wondering through with magnified mirrors may be a slight turn-off, but the anachronistic joy of working sockets in a 19th Century library, and a silence you won’t find in any coffee shop, makes this a great place to work.

  • 6. Grindsmith Deansgate

    Grindsmith Deansgate, 231 - 233 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4EN - Visit now

    Grindsmith’s Great Northern Warehouse branch fuels the Deansgate commuters each morning – but with large tables and a ground roast that is up there with the best of them, it is also a freelance haven for workers needing a caffeine blast. In the otherwise sparse corporate battleground of Deansgate, it is a rarity to find a quality independent.

  • 7. HOME Manchester

    Paul Karalius

    HOME Manchester, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now

    Manchester’s leading cross-arts centre is not limited to culture buffs. The downstairs bar provides a light and airy work space, and boasts an impressive collection of ales and cocktails. It’s a happy glass-faced, all day alternative from the sometimes dingy Northern Quarter cafés.

  • 8. Ezra & Gil

    Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

    Ezra & Gil, 20 Hilton St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1FR - Visit now

    On the corner of Hilton St and Newton St in the Northern Quarter, Ezra and Gil is a popular choice with the Creative Tourist team.  The coffee is excellent, as are the breakfast and lunch menus, but beware, the cakes and pastries are dangerously tempting.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Exhibitions 19 October 2017–15 April 2018, from £5

Robots at the Museum of Science and Industry

Theatre 12–27 January 2018, from £3.00

PUSH Festival 2018 at HOME

Black Men Walking at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 18 January–3 February 2018, from £13.00

Black Men Walking at the Royal Exchange

Music 12 January–16 April 2018, from £6

The Stoller Hall 2018 Season

Theatre 2 December 2017–3 February 2018, from £22.00

Guys and Dolls at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Music 24 September 2017–9 June 2018,

BBC Philharmonic 2017/18 Concert Season

Music 9 September 2017–31 May 2018, from £15.00

Manchester Camerata 2017/18 Season

Music 21 January–24 March 2018, from £12

RNCM 2018 Season

Exhibitions 18 November 2017–25 February 2018, FREE

humansbeingdigital at The Lowry

Exhibitions 30 September 2017–4 February 2018, FREE

Hetain Patel at Manchester Art Gallery

Festivals 22 September 2017–31 March 2018,

HOME Autumn/Winter Season