Our London HQ is at Somerset House. Here’s all you need to know about working from our office.
Our office is at Somerset House. Somerset House Trust was established as a charity to develop the buildings and surrounding open spaces as a centre for arts and culture. It’s in a great spot in Central London, just down the road from Waterloo.
Somerset House Exchange is a co-working space that we share with other positive organisations. It’s a great place, full of like-minded people who are involved in building businesses with positive social and environmental impact at the heart of their mission.
You’ll be issued with a swipe card to access the building, and you can use this at any time when the Exchange is open. If you lose your swipe card, please inform the security ASAP so they can stop the card and issue you with a new one. You can also speak to Our People and Office Manager to arrange a replacement card.
You should never allow anybody else to enter the building using your swipe card. If you need to bring clients or guests, you will need to ensure you are accompanying them all the time.
You can enter the building to work as often as you like during their operating hours. However, as a company, we pay for the average time you expect to work there each month. If you intend to vary this significantly, have a chat with one of the Directors or People and Office Manager first to ensure that we pay the appropriate fee.
Where to Sit
As we are members of the Somerset House Exchange, we can only use the Exchange rooms, and of course the meeting rooms when we hire them.
Small Exchange Room
This is a small co-working space on the lower ground floor where you can attend calls, Skype, and you will find a small communal kitchen too.
Medium Exchange Room
This room is located opposite to the small exchange room and has the policy to keep the phone and general conversation to a minimum. There is a nice conservatory if you would like to work under some natural light.
This large co-working space is located on the 3rd floor and not only open to the exchange members but to all residents of the Somerset House.
As an arriving point in the morning, the Model room will be by default our working space on the team office working days. Of course, you can use the other Exchange rooms on the ground floor as well if you are on your own or with one or two other team members or should there be no space in the Model room on the team day.
We always aim to have one of the private meeting rooms booked for the whole team for every Thursday from 12:30 till 17:30. These bookings will be subject to changes and availability, so you will always need to check for an announcement in the Hubbers channel.
If you want to use a meeting room for a meeting with the client, you will need to let the People and Office Manager know in advance or the reception at West Wing. You can email your request to email@example.com
The meeting rooms are fairly costly to use, so although you can use them whenever you need, we ask that you don’t book them out willy-nilly. Likewise, if you book one and decide not to use it, please cancel it immediately otherwise we’ll get charged and others will be unable to use it. You will need to give 48 hours notice to cancel or change your meeting room request.
Lunch and Breaks
When you’re working at the office, you can take breaks whenever you need them just as you would at home. If you’re going to be gone a while, just let somebody know so we don’t send out a search party.
You can do whatever you like for lunch. You’re welcome to bring in your own food or pop out to one of the many nearby cafés and sandwich shops.
From time to time we go out for lunch as a team, but that’s nearly always arranged in advance so you’ll know about it. When we organise a team lunch, this is usually paid for by us, unless otherwise stated.
The Exchange rooms are a shared space, we all make the effort to keep it clean and tidy so it’s a pleasant space for everybody to enjoy. In particular, please always do your own washing up in the kitchen and put your waste in the correct recycling bins.
The same rule applies when you are in the meeting rooms, you will need to ensure that you always leave them nice and tidy.
Health and Safety
Keep your eyes peeled for any hazards in the office, such as trailing wires or bags on the floor. If you see something that could present a risk, either fix the issue immediately, if safe to do so, or inform one of the Incentive Facilities Management Ltd, members. If an accident happens, report it immediately to the security, who will call the first aider and record the incident in the accident book.
In the event of a fire, an alarm will sound. If you hear the fire alarm, please follow Somerset House security staff to the nearest assembly point. Do not use lifts during this time. Once you’re out at the assembly point, please wait for the staff to give further instructions.
The fire alarm is tested every Monday at 9:30 am. During the test alarm, remain calm and do not take any action unless you’re asked to do so.
Please also read Wholegrain’s Health & Safety Policy.
Printer, Scanner and Wi-Fi
The Exchange provides use of a printer and scanner along with Wi-Fi.
We try to avoid printing wherever possible, but should you really (really!) have to print something, you can do this in the exchange room. Alternatively, you can send your print requests to the People and Office Manager, who will process them on your behalf.
You can also scan documents at the Exchange but we mostly use an app called CamScanner to create PDF versions of physical documents. You can download this from iTunes or Google Play.
We will provide you with free coffee, tea, some herbal tea, milk, and sugar. please make sure you keep the kitchen area clean and tidy.
If you need to leave something small at the office, you can use our team locker – ask one of us and we’ll issue you with a key.
Somerset House Exchange is a very safe environment, but you must accept that you leave things there at your own risk. Our locker is situated in the Medium Exchange room.
Rachael will usually collect the post, but if you’re expecting something feel free to check whenever you’re in the office. However, we do ask that team members don’t collect general post for the company, unless specifically requested to do so or if are intending to hand it straight to the relevant person. This prevents all important posts from being lost or mislaid. The Post Room is located in the Basement of the New Wing. A large amount of post is handled at Somerset House, so to ensure that your post is sorted correctly it must be addressed to the Exchange.
The convention for regular mail is:
(Your Name )
Exchange at Somerset House
London, WC2R 1LA
For couriers & large deliveries please use this address, otherwise delivery will be refused.
Exchange at Somerset House
West Water Gate
London, WC2R, 1LA
The loos are located on every floor.
Security at Somerset House is everyone’s responsibility. For your safety and the safety of our visitors, security at Somerset House is deliberately tight.
Access Control and Passes
Residents of Somerset House are required to obtain and wear a photo pass at all times when on the Somerset House Estate. This pass is required for identification purposes and will give you access to the required areas of the site, including the use of lifts, and access to the staff only entrances.
The Pass remains the property of Somerset House Trust and is initially provided free of charge. All passes must be returned when your occupation at Somerset House is at an end. If a pass is lost, stolen, or not returned when a person leaves, there will be charged £20+VAT each. Inform the Security Control Room immediately if the pass is lost, as it will then be cancelled so that unauthorised persons cannot gain access to the building.
Office Security and Locking Procedures
The security of our office is our responsibility. Please note that SHT does not hold any responsibility for loss, theft or damage of personal property.
Access & Out of Hours Access
Access to the Somerset House offices is between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm. If you are continuing to work after 9 pm, please notify the Security Control Room, as they will need to ensure the site is clear in the event of a fire evacuation.
Restricted Access Area’s
Please note that access to the roof or plant rooms of Somerset House is not permitted for any team members.
Suspicious Persons and Packages
If for any reason you suspect any person or packages within your area, please notify Security Control immediately, and they will arrange for this to be investigated.
All lost property is managed through the Security Control Room.
If a property is found, please drop this into the Security Control room where it will be recorded and retained for 3 months before disposal. Contact the control room if you have lost an item to see if it has been handed in.