Logistics of Working away in London - Experiences? Logistics of Working away in London - Experiences? - Page 2
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  1. #11

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    I suppose everybody's experience is down to their individual circumstances. I worked in Hammersmith a few years back for 11 months. I enjoyed the work but not the weekly commute as I came home to Scotland every weekend. The contract I was on was a decent day rate so I opted to rent a tiny one bedroom flat in Hammersmith which was a 5 min walk from the office. The flat cost £1250 a month inc heating/hot water. Electricity was about £25 PM and Council tax was about £85 PM. I chose to rent a flat close to the office as there was no additional transport costs during the week. The weekly commute to and from Scotland cost around £120 PW. I rented the flat through my LTD company and claimed travel to and from Scotland. The thing that stuck out to me about London was the noise pollution. Coming from a quiet little village in Scotland I sometimes found the round the clock noise from traffic unbearable particularly at night. All in all it was a great experience and I would perhaps do another stint there but i wouldn't look at more than a year.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    Blackfriars is on the water bus route. That means you have options other than sardines in a tube.
    Check the route and see what works.

    Oh. Water bus is licensed.
    Typing this from the back of Thames clipper in the middle of the river, coffee in hand, seat of my own, no crowding, return journey tonight will be equally stress free but with a glass of wine from the onboard bar


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  3. #13

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    Default Logistics of Working away in London - Experiences?

    Remember folks - No more expenses after April next year if you are deemed IR35 caught in a blanket bank/big company decision

    All these expenses will come out of your net wages


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  4. #14

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    The rates in the North seem to be catching up to those in London, with a lot less travel and accommodation expenses to boot.

    Cash wise I am better off in my current job than when I worked in London
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius

  5. #15

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    I worked in London a lot in the past, and would again for the right gig.

    SpareRoom, MondaytoFriday etc are the cheapest way to get accommodation. You can occasionally get an entire flat to yourself through it but mostly you will be sharing. It's not as bad as it seems as many of them are rented by couples who's kids have let home and are happy for you to do your own thing, no pressure to socialize etc. if you don't want to. South of the river is cheaper, Zone three on the Tube seems to be the sweetspot between accommodation costs and travel times.

    If you are up for it, cycling in London is a lot better than it used to be and most big companies in the city have shower/changing facilities on site. It's the quickest and cheapest way to get around by far and is my transport method of choice when I'm down there. It also helps to counteract the lack of exercise and temptation to live on takeaways that generally comes with staying away.

    London also has lots of options for cheap or free entertainment outside of work if you make the effort to not sit on your arse in front of the telly with a pizza every night.

    Bottom line: It can be a faff working away, the travel can become a grind and it will cost you more than you expect, but it does have it's upsides and you can have some good experiences working / living there in the week.
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.

  6. #16

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    I live in the North but contract predominantly in London, perhaps 10 out of the last 15 years. Some good advice has been given in this thread but I'd rule out the London/Brighton mainline as an option. I did that route for 2+ years and it was packed 10 years ago. You could get a seat by buying a 1st class ticket, which I did, but I'm reliably assured that is no longer the case. It's a horrible experience commuting into London like that. 2 hours 45 mins door-to-door Canary Wharf. Fair enough you'd be going into Blackfriars but those trains are fewer than into London Bridge and slower. Plus, you're even further away from home! It's also a false economy because what you save on the accommodation you spend on the travel. Better to have accommodation in London and have an extra couple of hours in bed. I now rent in Canada Water when I'm contracting in London as it's well situated for Canary Wharf (but cheaper) and getting into the City, along with Kings Cross station. It's an upcoming area with some good pubs/bars and parks/green spaces.

    Aside from commuting in, I've done the hotel thing, rented my own apartment, shared three apartments, stayed in airbnb and by far the best option is just to find a flatshare with somebody. Otherwise you have the pricing fluctuations of hotels and the need to lug your clothing up and down the country, preparing it on a weekend for the upcoming week. You also have to eat out all the time. it's not much of a life and becomes very expensive. My costs for travel and accommodation were around £ 2k a month, so that's £ 100 off your day rate. As others have said, the gap between London rates and the rest of the country has narrowed over the years so you have to factor in whether it is worth it. Having said that, it can be a great experience contracting in London and irrespective of what others might say, there is a certain 'prestige' to be had working for some of these companies and in flash offices. I'll look back on my time as a contractor with great fondness at some of the memories, something I probably wouldn't had I just worked locally. But it can be frustrating at times, particular when travel goes wrong. But isn't that the case driving around the country these days? I'd rather spend 3 hours on a train twice a week with a 10 min commute each way when I'm down there than be sat in the car for 4 hours a day. Also, factor 'family' and friends into the mix if you have any.
    Last edited by oliverson; 25th April 2019 at 10:12.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by oliverson View Post
    Having said that, it can be a great experience contracting in London and irrespective of what others might say, there is a certain 'prestige' to be had working for some of these companies and in flash offices. I'll look back on my time as a contractor with great fondness at some of the memories, something I probably wouldn't had I just worked locally.
    Likewise. I totally get why people don't like it, but I've had some really really fun times contracting in London - it's definitely something a career driven person should try at least try once.

  8. #18

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    Only way I survive London is having a room in a mate's house. Its a very large house. And he is incredibly anti-social : in fact nearly as anti-social as me.

    And I rent it for very little monthly rent.....

  9. #19

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    Rates never good enough in London for me as NLUK said. Slightly more but not enough to cover the extra costs...

    And I hate the place too....

    Been lucky - 18-19 years off and on contracting and never had a gig where I couldn't come home every night. Obviously, all in the south west or wales. Couple have been a bit far where I occasionally stayed over though.

    Going to get worse next April of course. Even worse for contractors living away - which is going to narrow the market a lot to local candidates only. Seen if happen in PS - contractors from away just can't afford to do it so client looks at local people only.
    Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!

  10. #20

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    I've been contracting 21 years and have managed to avoid London so far.

    Been all over the UK and bits of Europe, only take the gig if the rate covers my travel and staying in a hotel walking distance to the office. I would never think of travelling hundreds of miles to a gig and then stay far enough away that I need to get transport to the office. That's all extra costs as well.

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