The Best Places to Work in Manchester (when you need to get out of the office)

Posted March 9, 2015 - Emma Mills in General & Tricks of the trade

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Three things are utterly vital to a productive working environment: invincible WIFI, comfortable and supportive seating and just the right amount of noise.

A client who often works from home recently confessed to leaving the radio on in another room to keep sound levels at their most productive. Several studies have shown that the level of hubbub heard in a cafe (around 70 decibels) is just the right amount to get you speeding through work.

Further commentary suggests a change of scene is great for productivity and motivation – fresh air and a new view do wonders for the soul.

So if you’re in need of a little light background noise, a new view and a little motivation step away from the desk and head to one of these fab Manchester locations. 

Central Library – not only is this one of Manchester’s most beautiful buildings, they do good coffee and tea, simple snacks and very generous slices of cake. Seating options range from bucket seats among the books to canteen-style tables and interactive workspaces. We advise you avoid the latter because every gesture triggers a response from the overhead sensors – great for entertaining kids; not so good for getting work done. But the unlimited free Wifi and long opening hours (8am-8pm) make the library a great choice.

(Top tip – when you first enter the library, look up and take in the stunning ceiling.)

Escalator – Escalator is all about collaboration. This place is not only a coffee shop fuelled by the great Grindsmith, it’s also provides free event space and meeting rooms for businesses in Manchester. The agency-come-Ikea feel makes it a favourite with creatives and students, the seats are comfortable and the coffee supreme. Free Wifi abounds and collaborations with Barclays and Central Working mean Escalator is rife with driven entrepreneurs and supportive peers.

Takk – a sea of Macs and beards, this is an Icelandic Coffee House at it’s hipster best! Takk (meaning thanks), serves super strong coffee and super-sized sandwiches, sweet treats and fragrant teas. A great location if you need to plug in to the mains and wifi – the easily accessed plugs make it great for long stints away from home. It’s not so good if you need decent back support – the bench-to-table height can be a killer!

The Midland Hotel – the vast and expansive lounge and attentive waiting staff make this, and to be honest, any smart hotel, a great option for meetings and solo work. The wifi isn’t great but the setting could be just the ticket if you’re after somewhere a little more formal or corporate.

Pot Kettle Black – there are plugs, wifi, good coffee, great service. It’s conveniently located, the staff fall over backwards to help and the seating options are comfy and varied. The downside is the ‘outside loo’ – across the way and down some steps. But the decor and clientele make this a good option for a variety of occasions, whether you’re working hard or meeting colleagues or clients.

Coffitivity – whilst researching background noise and productivity levels we stumbled across Coffitivty – free coffee shop background noise! “Coffitivity recreates the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better.” Their three free sounds tracks include Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge and University Undertones. Premium tracks include Paris Paradise, Brazil Bistro and Texas Teahouse. Maybe there’s no need to leave the office after all?

How do you increase productivity in your office? Which are the best places to work in Manchester for you? We’d love to hear from you.

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