Co-working spaces can work. The Globe is an inviting space: a fresh, wood-panelled community pub which by day becomes The Wheelhouse, one of the locations run by shared workspace providers of the same name who are ready to cater for a wide range of needs (the other being nearby Angel Court). If you're an Oxford-based start-up, regularly having a Wheelhouse space as the epicentre for your empire may give you the structure to ensure it expands. Maybe working from home is sapping your intentionality - if so, the USP of this business could make you take notice.
Co-working spaces in town (scarce in central OX4, with more near the train station and Business/Science Parks) operate on a subscription basis, which many companies need anyway. As well as this, the Wheelhouse offers a (fanfare) pay-as-you-go option - £3 an hour will gain you a distraction-free environment with other conscientious types, free unlimited tea and coffee, and hopefully the impetus to reach a deadline/finish a commission.
Subscriptions are very reasonable at 30 hours a month (£50), 50 hours a month (£80) and beyond, and these link you in with the Wheelhouse community, via social events they run. In a friendly form, this is hot-desking. And indeed the desks are pretty attractive. So how to describe the experience of occupying them?
At the wide-open end of St. Clements, you feel like you're at a nexus, the departure point for the capital and beyond. You're also sheltered from the bustle and transport, by two factors: a side-street entrance (the Globe's welcoming front door closed and aloof) at which I knock brings to mind an above-board speakeasy, and a super-chilled vibe created by the building's light and a well chosen chill-out soundtrack. There's a range of spaces, from the secluded, woody downstairs area - this hosted a meeting while I was there, obscured from sight and earshot by a curtain - to soft seating and the front-lit globe-laden table at which I now type.
The décor is great, the filter coffee is smooth, dark and more than palatable (win!). It's a more controlled environment than that of a café (with less incentive to appease baristas by purchasing massive flapjacks), and there's no pressure to be chummy and more sociable than your work demands. Today a few young men and women pop in, or get on with their assignments, with one of the Wheelhouse team engaging me in wide-ranging conversation in my downtime, and checking elsewhen that my beverage is topped up as I like. It's open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday - give it a try.