According to research done by Small Business Britain, disabled entrepreneurs suffer from a lack of business support. With nearly 1 in 5 working age adults suffering some form of disability, this isn’t acceptable in 2021.

1 in 5 Britons wants to start their own business in 2021 and – according to government statistics there were 665,495 companies created in 2019 / 2020.

That’s 1,823 a day – the second largest year on record. Entrepreneurship is booming.

So to show our support for budding entrepreneurs and employees with accessibility needs in the capital, we have analysed more than 50 of London’s best – and worst – shared offices and given them a score out of 10 for their accessibility.

This article includes:

Methodology

We based this study on:

  • The number of disabled bathrooms per floor (and the building’s capacity) (/2)
  • Whether each office has accessible rank access – and if so how accessible is it (/2)
  • The number of wheelchair accessible lifts there are per floor (/2)
  • Proximity to underground and overground stations with disabled access (/2)
  • The distance to said station (/2)

Based on these 5 scores we were able to score these offices out of 10 (half points where available – to create a list of London’s 20 most accessible shared office spaces.

Key Statistics

  • 55% of shared office spaces have 1 disabled bathroom or less per floor
  • 19% don’t have step-free ramp access
  • 14% don’t have any disabled lift access and 33% have 1 or less
  • 29% are more than 0.5 miles away from the nearest accessible tube station. 10% are more than 1 mile away

London’s Top 20 Accessible Shared Offices

Shared office space Location Borough Score (Number of disabled bathrooms / floors) Ramp Access Score Lift Access Score Tube / Overgound Access Score Walking Distance Score Total
TOG Angel Islington 2 2 2 2 2 10
TOG TCR Camden 2 2 2 2 2 10
Uncommon Liverpool st Westminster 2 2 2 1 2 9
The Clubhouse Mayfair Westminster 2 2 2 2 1 9
The Clubhouse Holborn Westminster 2 2 2 2 1 9
The Clubhouse St James Westminster 2 2 2 2 1 9
Mortimer House Fitzrovia Westminster 2 2 2 2 1 9
Makerversity The Strand Westminster 2 2 2 1 2 9
Fora Clerkenwell Islington 2 2 2 2 1 9
TOG Whitechapel Hackney 2 2 2 1 2 9
Us&Co Stratford Newham 1 1 2 2 2 8
TOG Borough Southwark 1 2 2 1 2 8
TOG Liverpool St Westminster 1 1 2 2 2 8
WeWork Merchant Square Westminster 2 2 1 2 1 8
WeWork York Road Southwark 2 2 2 1 1 8
WeWork Long Acre Westminster 2 2 1 2 1 8
Work.Life Camden Camden 1 2 2 1 2 8
TOG Farringdon Islington 2 1 1 2 2 8
Arboretum Charing Cross Westminster 2 2 2 1 1 8
TOG Rivington Street Hackney 2 2 1 2 1 8

Overall Winners

  • The Office Group
  • The Clubhouse

With 6 features in the top 20  The Office Group (TOG) scores very well across the board. Including the only two perfect scores – TOG Angel & Tottenham Court Road – thanks to their immaculate proximity to an accessible tube.

In joint second place there are 8 shared offices including: Uncommon by Liverpool Street station, 3 central venues by The Clubhouse, Mortimer House in Fitzrovia, another TOG and Makerversity; a shared office space in Somerset House itself.

WeWork venues start to feature at the bottom of the top 20, only slightly hampered by the reduced lift access and proximity to key, accessible stations.

The Best Borough for Accessible Workspaces

To then break this down further, we analysed which of London’s boroughs were best equipped to deal with accessibility based on their shared offices.

To be included, each borough had to have at least 2 offices in our analysis.

Location Average Score
Camden 8.5
Westminster 8.1
Newham 7.3
Islington 7.1
Borough 7
Hackney 6.8
Southwark 6.3
Kensington & Chelsea 6
Tower Hamlets 4.8

 

  1. Camden – 8.5 / 10

Home to London’s eccentric rock, punk and Britpop scene, Camden is also London’s top borough for shared accessible workspaces.

With a whopping average score of 8.5 / 10, workspaces in Camden are dramatically helped by the fact that Camden Town has designated level access point AND that Tottenham Court Road (yes it’s in Camden) has disabled accessible lift access between street and platform.

And, with one of only two perfect scores, Camden is the best borough for disabled workspaces.

  1. Westminster – 8.1 / 10

Noted primarily for Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and housing the seat of the UK government, affluent Westminster – running from the River Thames to Oxford Street – rather surprisingly came in second place for wheelchair friendly shared office spaces.

With an excellent average score of 8.1 / 10 – including six 9 / 10s – Westminster is home to dozens of shared offices including WeWorks, The Office Groups and The Clubhouses.

Profiting from Green Park and Farringdon’s exemplary disabled access, Westminster is an excellent location for an accessible shared workspace.

  1. Newham – 7.3 / 10

One of the six host boroughs for the 2012 Olympics, Newham takes the final coveted spot.

Host to London’s Olympic Park, City Airport and a Westfield, it’s also the proud owner of some of London’s most accessible shared office spaces.

With a more than respectable average score of 7.3 / 10 – in part thanks to Stratford’s excellent accessibility – Newham is an excellent option for accessible office space. Just make sure you’re near the station!

Data Sources

As small business booms and the lust for entrepreneurship deepens, shared office spaces become more and more prevalent. But unfortunately, not all of them are suitable for entrepreneurs or employees with disabilities.

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