7 flexible workspaces you need to visit in Southampton


19 Jan, 2022

Famed as the city with the lowest CO2 emissions in the UK, Southampton is a paragon of sustainability. And what could be more sustainable than walking (or getting the bus) to a flexible workspace near you? With that in mind, here are 7 of our favourite Southampton spots in and around the city centre where you can pitch your desk for the day.

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For creatives: The Design Chapel - from £25pp

Starting off strong, we have The Design Chapel, which you'll find just off Southampton Common. As you might have guessed, design is a huge element in this space. There are plenty of vibrant greens, purples and yellows dotted throughout the office to keep you bright and alert. It's hard to believe that such a modern space could exist inside such a historic building, but that's why this workspace is such a gem.

You'll find all the typical facilities of one of NearU's listings here, as well as handy free parking both on-site and off-site - just check beforehand what kind of availability is on offer if you are driving (though we recommend you walk or cycle, given they also have a bike rack on offer).

Take a walk through Southampton Common

One of the largest (and oldest) green spaces in Southampton, this 365 acre area dates back to 1228, though some historians have suggested an even earlier heritage of 500AD. And it might not have looked so different to today either. The space plays home to a mixture of grassland, wetland, lakes, ponds and parkland and is well-loved by all city residents. Plus, taking even just a short walk might help you produce even better work.

One study in Finland examining lunch-hour activities compared three groups of workers. The first were asked to take a 15 minute walk every day; the second were told to complete relaxation activities; and the control group continued lunch breaks as normal. By the end of the two week study, the walkers reported feeling most relaxed and detached from work out of all the groups, and as a result enjoyed their breaks more (which meant they came back to work with a better attitude).

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For back pain sufferers: UBCUK Southampton - from £20pp

Situated in the heart of Ocean Village, a gorgeous marina with a mix of commercial and leisure spots, this large office is perfect for those looking to get some focussed work done. Also, its efficient use of ergonomic furniture means it's sure to be a favourite for anyone who suffers with back pain as a result of a bad WFH set up.

Did you know, the majority of workers aged 18-24 don't have a suitable place to work at home? Most tend to work from a kitchen/living space or even their bedrooms, with only 7.5% having a specific office or study area. But with a NearU space, you don't have to worry about where you work, as everything from furniture to wifi is ready as soon as you sit down.

Organise a staff social at Exciting Escapes

Unless you've been living under a rock these past few years, you've probably been invited to (or at least heard about) an escape room. They've gained a lot of traction recently, and for good reason - they're great for team building, enhancing problem solving skills and they're just downright fun. Southampton have a few escape room offerings but we like Exciting Escapes for its great variety - so whether you (and your team) want to investigate a Cold War spy or become an astronaut for the hour, there is sure to be a mission for you.

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For meetings: Arena Business Centre - from £10pp* 

This stylish business centre is the perfect location to host a meeting or perhaps even a small conference from. Its central location within the city centre means it is easily accessible by public transport or walking (if you're really trying to skimp on emissions). We especially love the luxurious decoration of this space, as the designers have made use of attractive gold and teal furnishings to give a classy finish.

*this price is reflective of a meeting room only booking.

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For night-owls: White Building - from £45pp

As the name would suggest, this centrally located workspace makes ample use of white walls and natural lighting to keep you feeling bright and focussed on your work. They have business suites that are suitable for between 2 and 60 people, as well as all the typical shared space you can expect from one of our listings. Plus, access the building at any time that suits you thanks to its 24/7 availability for members - perfect if you often feel a burst of creative energy towards the evening.

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For long-stays: VWorks Eastleigh - from £20.84pp

Coworking is no longer being limited to offices  - you'll now find workspaces popping up in hotels as well. And that's exactly what VWorks, Village Hotels' coworking off-shot, is all about. Their high-spec spaces can be found at most of their hotel locations, with this one sitting just outside Southampton proper in the neighbouring suburb of Eastleigh. 

Given the nature of this site, you can expect more than just a desk - get access to their free car park, outdoor breakout zones, and even their gym (if you fancy working up a sweat on your lunch break). If you want to get a feel for VWorks before you go, why not check out an interview our founder, Dan Murray, did with the BBC back in June 2021 at one of their similar locations in Portsmouth?

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For wellbeing: Agora³ - from £4pp 

When we say Agora³ is more than just a workspace, we truly mean it. The team here have gone above and beyond both in terms of design and facilities on offer to guests - as well as being a visually inspiring place to work, with plenty of pops of colour to keep your creative juices flowing throughout the day, Agora³ also offer wellbeing services. From an on-site private GP and Osteopath, to sports massage and skincare treatments, their comprehensive team are on-hand to treat any ailments that might be triggered by office working.

They're a little way outside of Southampton city centre, sitting at the edge of the small town of Totton. But if you're having any trouble finding them just search their handy what3words address ///deep.chap.nobody. Plus there's no need to go outside of the NearU app to do this - just click the w3w integration on their space profile when you come to book and it'll take you directly to their navigation services.

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For corporates: Freedom Works - from £15pp

A relatively unassuming space, Freedom Works is ideal for anyone looking to host a meeting or brainstorming session where they can put their own stamp on things. But they're more than just an office - members are also given access to their accelerator service, which offers business support and networking opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

Wind down with a drink at Dancing Man Brewery

While heading down to the pub with your workmates after a hard day used to be a common occurrence, the past two years have made casual drinks harder to come by. Luckily, with most places re-opened you can make a post-work pint a reality once more. And when in Southampton, there's no better bar to grab a drink at that Dancing Man Brewery. 

Set inside a former wool house, Dancing Man has since been converted into a stunning rustic pub and event venue by its owners, Aidan and Mandy (and their dog Mr Watson). They specialise in serving mind-bending local beers with even more mind-bending names - from Bovine Intervention to Mi Amiga Phantasma. Plus, they're a completely independent business, so supporting them means supporting the community directly.
Like the look of these spaces? You can book into them instantly with NearU - simply download our app from the App Store or Google Play and search, book, work. Looking for another workspace in the South of England? Check out our guide to Bristol.

Haven't heard of us? NearU has launched an app that connects employees to flexible desk space and meeting rooms, putting flexible working at your fingertips. Traditional office working is a thing of the past and working-from-home has a high impact on our mental health - NearU's pay-as-you-go booking platform lets you choose to work-near-home when you want, eliminating the need for a commute, expensive office rental contracts, and giving you the freedom to do what works for you.