When G-Hold was approached by Arcadia Scotland to host economics and data analytics student Robert Hage from Furman University in Greenvill, SC, we jumped at the chance to welcome Robert to our team for a very special project.
The global pandemic fundamentally shifted the way we worked, and where we worked, now and into the foreseeable future. Whilst before the pandemic, only 12% of working adults in the UK were reported to work from home, a whopping 38% of working adults now report to be working from home for at least one day of their standard working week, with the majority of those preferring a ‘hybrid’ working model.
With businesses and households facing a tough winter in 2022 of rising costs and energy bills, new options are being sought to accommodate ‘digital nomads’, keen to find comfortable places to work without having to turn on the heating in the middle of the day or pay for expensive desk rentals in central locations.
We therefore thought it would be a great time to review some of the options for ‘working from anywhere’ in Edinburgh from the perspective of a visitor unfamiliar with our home city. Below are some of the venues that Robert visited to get his university work completed with a summary review on how suitable Robert believed them to be for comfortably and productively working from anywhere.
Southern Cross Cafe on Cockburn Street, a few minutes down from the Royal Mile, is a great place to work if you’re trying to avoid a crowded setting. The cafe is spacious inside, and is usually busy but rarely overcrowded. Natural light and comfortable seating areas mark the interior. Outlets are within an arms reach of any seating area. Wifi is free and speeds are good. Plenty of varity for coffee or tea drinkers. Overall a great shop if you want a quiet place to get work done.
Peanut Press Café, located at 24 Brougham Street in Tollcross, Edinburgh is the perfect balance between a quiet productive workspace and lively café. The Café is popular, but rarely overcrowded. Noise levels are moderate and the space is large enough for plenty of comfortable seating. Outdoor seating is available too. Wifi is easily accessible and speeds are excellent. Besides their great coffee, they claim to have the best pizza in town!
Edinburgh Press Club, located on Cockburn Street in the Old Town, is a nice place to work while enjoying great food and drinks. Again, a very popular spot, but the interior is spacious and comfortable enough where it won’t feel crowded. Wifi speeds are fast, interior is cozy with plenty of natural light, and the refreshments are top tier. The historic building and great location make it one of the best hybrid working spaces in Edinburgh!
Black Medicine Coffee Co., located at 2 Nicholson Street in Edinburgh, is a cozy, quite space perfect to get work done in the typically crowded Old Town. The natural wood interior and pleasant decor create a comfortable environment for any work or productivity needs. The shop has a great location and plenty of customers, but never feels too crowded inside. Coffee and pasteries are excellent, wifi speeds are good, and the overall comforability of the shop makes it one of our favorite locations for hybrid working.
Loudons in Fountainbridge is a great café to go to if you want a bite to eat and a place to work. The inside is split between a brunch restaurant with table service, and a traditional coffeeshop with counter service which can be a little confusing for new customers. Comfortable casual seating with natural light is available throughout the spacious interior. Refreshments are very good with plenty of gluten- and dairy-free choices. Loudouns is very popular so one may find it crowded at times. Wifi is also available, but upon request.
Not the most glamorous place to go, but the Edinburgh Central Library is a very quiet, spacious location for one to get work done. The typical demographic leans toward students, but access is free for anyone. Wifi is available, and there are plenty of cafés within a minutes walk if you don’t fancy the one inside.
The Scottish National Gallery is a fun place to hybrid work if you want to be in the center of town. Only a moments walk from Princes Street, the gallery has a nice cafe with wifi and good refreshments. The Cafe can get crowded, but there are cozy spots to sit at throughout the building. Lighting is nice - it is ultimately a gallery. Lack of tables, however, makes it not the most convenient place to work. Overall, it is a fun place to go but not the most productive environment.
The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of our favorite places to work if you want a change of pace. At the center of the park, you’ll find a cafe with plenty of people working or relaxing. Wifi is available, lighting is excellent, and the refreshments are nice too. It does get busy with plenty of visitors, but there is plenty of seating available inside and outdoor. Bonus, you get a beautiful walk through the gardens on your way in and out.
The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers street is another fun place to hybrid work if you’re in need of a change of scenery. The cafe is comfortable with wifi and great refreshments, but our favorite places to sit are further inside the building. Comfortable couches and seating can be found in every corridor and hall throughout the museum. Visitors will be walking about, but quiet areas are easy to find. Wifi goes throughout the building but can be faulty in certain areas. Again, another fun stop outside the typical work area.
The Royal Yacht Britannia, accessible by the Ocean Terminal shopping center, is a unique place to go if you’re looking for an out-of-the-ordinary workspace. Traffic levels are high with many tourists coming through. Views are amazing from the top deck and floors below but seating space is very limited. The Cafe (Tea Room) has nice views, natural light, and decent wifi, but will get crowded and noisy; not ideal if you prefer a low-distraction environment. Overall, the Royal Yacht is a great place to visit but would be difficult to use for hybrid working.