Whilst the benefits of working from home are plentiful and conducive to a frugal life (reduced exposure to pollution, baked potatoes on tap), there have also been difficulties (icy temperatures, cabin fever, muscle loss). Katie and I have spent the last three weeks yo-yoing between our respective living rooms, the RSA and the British Museum, and have been on the look-out for a more permanent residence for TAP.
One of the main reasons for this (above complaints aside), is that we both miss the social interaction and buzz of an office. Having just left a vibrant company of around 300, the stillness of my living room at 4pm on a Wednesday can sometimes feel stifling. Aside from an inquisitive squirrel in my back garden - it's just the two of us. Luckily we quite like one another, but to avoid a reprisal of The Shining in N1, we started looking around for alternatives.
Despite most office rentals charging astronomical prices, there are some really fantastic options for start-ups and social enterprises seeking working space in London. We contacted Bathtub2Boardroom who have offices in both Bank and Old Street, to see if they might have space for us. A week or so later, Katie headed in for an interview with their memberships manager Louis Bedwell to take him through our business plan.
Bathtub2Boardroom have a very unique model themselves. Whilst on the face of it, they are an incubator (offering affordable and accessible office space and mentorship), they are also a charity who give students unprecedented access to start ups - giving the next generation a holistic understanding of business and what's on offer beyond the education system.
Back in the interview, Louis "got" the concept of TAP straight away, and suggested that - due to the potential social impact of the idea - we could bag ourselves a Bathtub Bursary. This is an 18 month programme providing full-time office space, support, mentorship and a huge network of entrepreneurs.
We just this minute had confirmation that we've been accepted onto the bursary, and as of February 16th, we are 'jumping into the tub' (aka an extremely swanky new office in Bank) completely free of charge. How fantastic is that?
Huge thanks to Louis and the team at Bathtub2Boardroom for the bursary, and for providing us with a wonderful working space to develop TAP alongside 200 like-minded people from across London.
Preparing my office Spotify playlist already...