An innovative new idea is to use restaurant tables as co-working office spaces during their quiet periods.

Office space in Manchester has adapted to changing work patterns. Co-working office spaces have opened in the city to cater for people who do not want the long-term commitment of a long office lease. WeWork has two offices in Manchester, at 1 St Peter’s Square and No 1 Spinningfields. It offers offices and desks that can be rented by the month on short-term agreements.

A new company, FlexTable, is catering for people who only want a desk for a few hours. These are often freelance workers who can work from anywhere with internet access. FlexTable matches workers with venues that have quiet periods during the day. Most of the venues are restaurants that are busy at lunchtimes and in the evenings, but mornings and afternoons are either closed or nearly empty. Their empty tables can be rented out to freelance workers through FlexTable to earn extra income for the restaurant.

Freelancers can work from home or in coffee shops, but they often feel isolated. If they work in a space with other freelance workers, they experience the camaraderie of the workplace environment.

There are many businesses that still want a long-term lease for their Manchester offices. Start-ups and small businesses like the flexibility of renting offices by the month, and freelancers want desk space for a few hours. Office space in Manchester caters for all these varied demands.