I went and looked at that shared office space on Monday. I think it will suit me pretty well. There are some things that aren't so good, but it will be a massive improvement on my current situation and may even work out to be cheaper.
It's actually a bit of a find. Apparently the owners want to tear it down and build a block of flats there which is why the rent is so cheap. They can't give any certainty as to when it will happen but the building plans haven't even been submitted to the council yet. The other tenants have been there for up to three years and they seem to think the quickest anything might happen is 12 months or more.
The great thing is that it's just a quick cycle or bus ride from my house. I could also walk there in maybe 20-25 minutes.
The other tenants who I'll be sharing the space with all seem fine as well. They're your usual mix of hip young things with a graphic designer, fashion designer, web/graphic designer and an IT network support person. The office itself consists of several individual offices and a large common area. There's one less individual office than there are businesses so one person has to set up in the actual common area behind partitions. Being the last one in, that will be me. I'm not crazy about that but the area is quite large and the partitions provide a decent level of privacy. They've assured me that it's not a noisy work environment and that most of the time each of them is working away with their respective doors closed.
It's not in the best part of town, but I've previously had an office in the absolute worst part of town so I'm not too bothered too much by that. They were burgled earlier this year but since then the landlord has upgraded the locks and put bars on the doors. I think you'd still have to assume that it's going to happen again though and be prepared for it when it does.
The space will be available mid January and I'd like to be able to move in straight away. The cabin fever has been steadily rising here in my home office the last few weeks. I'm hoping a change of scenery, a less chaotic work environment and some people to talk to will help to restore some sanity and motivation levels.