We’ve looked at our four favourite current spots for hot desking on the move in Dublin saving you the trial and error.
If getting out and meeting clients, generating new business, and generally hustling, are part of your working day then more often than not you’ll find yourself with blocks of time to fill between meetings.
Some venues are great for holding a business meeting while others are great for getting your head down without distraction and working on a proposal, presentation, article, or just replying to your emails.
We’ve worked across the city from South to North over the course of the past few months. Here are our four favourite hot desking spots in Dublin.
Before you head out: some ground rules:
- Having working wifi hotspot on your phone is vital as backup – you need to be self sufficient if your chosen venue is having any problems. Remember your waiter isn’t your IT help desk! (Quick pro tip: have you tried turning it on and off again?)
- Don’t have your screen open facing the rest of the room, particularly you’re working on a highly confidential proposal or pricing.
- It is also important to stress that if you are working on something highly confidential look at the security of the wifi you’ve hooked up to, beware of any Herod clauses! For larger businesses your IT department should have clear directions on data security (especially for those working in research, legal, government)
- The venues you choose also can’t be responsible if any of your belongings go walkies, just use common sense!
- Most important of all don’t be a cafe squatter! (Most of) these are businesses and you need to make a purchase, and ideally not spend more than 2 hours hogging a table unless you intend to buy more than a cup of tea/ coffee! Definitely do not be the reason they are turning higher spending customers away (during breakfast/ lunch etc).
The building itself has divided local opinion but this is an amazing space with lots of room and views of Dun Laoghaire harbour, the sea and Howth. Great for focused period of work on a task. You can even borrow a book while you’re there! Anecdotally there are several startup working away merrily in DL’s landmark building. Wifi isn’t always brilliant so come prepared.
However, it is not great for fielding calls as you’d expect! I tend to work with Spotify on, using headphones. When I recently unplugged mine from my laptop to answer a call I ended up giving the library a blast of the Clash’s “Gun’s of Brixton”… Much to the amusement of the secondary school student sitting beside me.
“Would you shhh for goodness sake!”
Staying with the subject of noise generally, avoid Libraries in the run up to exam time (Junior Cert, Leaving Cert and College exams). There’s also a lot of German tourist style parking of books (but no towels) and note pads on the desks at exam times. You can see the students in question is with pals having a chat outside for a few hours!
Best avoided in the afternoons – and possibly altogether when the Junior/ Leaving Cert are in full swing.
Artistry at the Dean Hotel
The Dean is a lovely space but did you know you are surrounded by great artwork such as Tracy Emin, see photo above, and Irish living legend Richard Gorman? The Dean is nice and bright with good wifi and great coffee, and a full bar if you decide to entertain clients later in the evening. If it’s a nice evening you can also head up onto the heated rooftop terrace to continue that meeting! It’s generally quiet downstairs during the day, compared to the spaces upstairs and as a result it offers lots of privacy. Early in the day or late in the afternoon are the best times. You can get unlucky and a large group of tourists arrive to check in and land beside you. There’s usually plenty of space and the seats by the window are often the quietest. Choose your seat wisely!
Overall it is a great place for conducting meetings, entertaining clients, conducting interviews as well as doing work itself.
I love (Caffe) Parigi in the springtime!
Caffe Parigi is on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. Plenty of light, good wifi, serves lovely simple Italian food, salads, ciabattas, breakfast and coffee. It has a simple decor and tables both inside and out. Part of its charm is that they play Italian radio all day so on a sunny day you might as well be in Milan (or indeed Paris itself!)
Afternoons work best for many cafe’s or other places that serve lunch. You need to buy something as the price of doing business as it were. Multiple orders of tap water won’t endear you to the staff and you’ll rightly be asked to leave! Like any cafe whose primary trade is breakfast and lunch you won’t be working late there either, these guys close at 5pm with a sense of a place winding down after 4:30!
Twitter:@CaffeParigi (though not active since last summer)
Smithfield’s beacon: the Lighthouse Cinema
Located in the heart of Smithfield Square this is another beautifully designed space. There is less daylight than some of the venues above but lots of food, coffee and friendly staff. The wifi is reliable, the tables and chairs are comfortable and the space works well for any business meetings as well. There’s always a great programme of films showing in the cinema itself. Best times for working there in peace are mornings and early afternoon before the Cinema kicks into gear. The venue can be used for various launches of products and festivals so check that there’s nothing on the day you rock up with your laptop!
Hopefully the above don’t become swarmed and there’s still some room for me to squeeze in the next time I need to visit visit!
What are your favourite places for hot desking on the move in Dublin?