Gatwick South Terminal: Finding great places to work

There are plenty of places at Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal where you can work.  However, finding a suitable spot where you can be productive can be a challenge when passing through the airport en route to your destination.

Business traveller on airport trolley doing work on laptopSo much of our business travel outcome depends on our ability to meet with clients or suppliers as well-briefed, well prepared and productive representatives.  Although, it’s not easy being productive when travelling.  By changing our routine and work environment, we automatically alter our ability to work efficiently.   Attempting to work when travelling can leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained if the environment, equipment or you are not entirely up to the task.  Which is why you need to find a spot that will agree with your work preferences.

Everyone works differently.  Some people prefer a quiet space without distraction while others desire white noise around them.   Also, when you search for a workspace, you will need to consider the type of work you wish to undertake.  Some spaces may be useful for quick emails or reading over your schedule.  While other locations, due to lower footfall, might lend themselves better to documents demanding greater concentration or confidentiality.

When we reviewed Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal, we looked for alternative workplaces to the main thoroughfare seating and workbench areas. They were not easy to discover.  While we found some ‘dedicated working spaces’, such as newly added quiet zones which offered workbenches, power points and good Wi-Fi receptions and we also looked for others which are more ‘relaxed working areas’, such as hideaway spaces in cafes and restaurants, more suitable for those who prefer white noise environments while having a bite to eat.

So, here are our top six spots for relaxed and dedicated working places in Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal.

Relaxed Work Spaces

If your work doesn’t require strict concentration nor is confidential in nature, and you need a few minutes over a refreshing drink or snack, while aware of the presence of others, then you might consider these options below.

Costa Coffee Café, Arrivals, Ground Floor

Having just landed and entered the Arrivals Hall, you could head straight to Costa Coffee.  Fortunately, it has a quiet area at the back on the left of the service counter which has lower footfall than the tables at the front.  Despite the busy nature of the Arrivals Hall at the front of the café, this is an area where you can work without a lot of distraction.  There are several tables in front of the window and to the right of this area which have dual power points.

Costa Coffee Café – Hilton Hotel Entrance

Business Traveller doing work at workbench in airport near the windowBetter still, if it is a quiet space you crave to work in, away from all the hustle and bustle of the terminal, then we suggest the other Costa Coffee Café in the entrance of the Hilton Hotel lobby is worth a try.  This hideaway café lacks the same environmental chatter, offering a better chance to concentrate.  It is only 500 steps from the Arrivals Hall and well worth the quick five-minute walk giving your circulation a little recovery workout.  When we reviewed this café, there were several business people already working here.  The tables on the left as you enter the café have several dual power points.

Beehive Bar and Restaurant, Departures, Third Floor

At the back of this bar and restaurant, towards the large window frontage, there is a long workbench which sits up to eight people.  The workbench is at elbow height and hosts six dual power points underneath the worktop.  It can be noisy during peak dining and flight times.  However, you will have your back to the other diners so that any background distraction will be less of a concern here.

If you need a more secluded spot, then the back on the left is ideal.  The tables are at elbow height, and the Wi-Fi is very strong with a link speed of 72 Mbps.  There is also a power-point at the table next to the far wall.

Grain Store, Departure Lounge, Upper Level

Several people were working at the Grain Store when we visited.  It wasn’t very busy, and they accommodate business travellers needing to work very well. The best time to work while dining here is after the breakfast rush.

There is a bench outside the front of the restaurant which seats four people and a large table just inside.  You can work and charge your device here while observing the human traffic flowing past.  However, it can be distracting during peak times.

A better option is to venture further into the restaurant where there are plenty of other tables.  If you stroll down towards the back and turn right, you’ll find a couple of booth seats on the right-hand wall.  During the afternoon it is usually very peaceful here.

Dedicated Work Spaces

If you require a more dedicated spot where you can concentrate more efficiently, but still prefer to have the company of others around as a ‘white noise’ then you might prefer the following public dedicated workspaces.  Power points are available at these if you wish to charge your mobile devices at the same time.

Workbench in the Quiet Zone, Gates 1 – 5, Departure Lounge, Lower Level

Business Travellers doing work at airport workbench with free Wi_FiGatwick have recently introduced a Quiet Zone near gates 1 – 5.  It is one of the best public areas in the South Terminal, post-security, to work as all the other workbenches are in the main through fare.  As you walk into the Quiet Zone space (towards Gates 1 – 5), you’ll find a long workbench on the right-hand side which seats up to eight people and hosts eight dual power points.

When we visited, we found it had already become popular amongst business people to work here.  Despite this, it remains exceptionally peaceful.  There is also a lot of natural light from the windows opposite.

Regus Business Centre, Arrivals Hall

Regus Express Business Centre and Lounge is located on the ground floor of the Arrivals Hall. You can access Regus Business Centre via the lift next to Costa Coffee. Once here, you will find a workplace dedicated to those travelling on business. They operate a ‘drop-in’ service during weekdays.

For business travellers, it offers a productive work environment with excellent facilities in a distraction-free environment.  In addition to plenty of workspaces, there are printing and fax facilities, meeting rooms, coffee making facilities and a kitchen with a microwave to heat up a quick meal.  If you’re travelling early, then there is also shower facilities and breakfast facilities.  Wi-Fi signal is their own and not reliant on the Gatwick Wi-Fi, hence it has an excellent signal with a recorded fast link speed of 65 to 72 Mbps.

The business centre is open from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday. Free access to all Regus members. The cost for non-members using business lounge is £8 per hour (£32 per day).  All beverages are complimentary.

We hope you find the workspaces we discovered as useful as we have.  If you need to know more about productive working when passing through Gatwick Airport, then you can find more information in our Healthy Business Travel: an essential guide to Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal.  There is also a guide for the North Terminal.  Both are available from Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith.

© Executive Travel Vitality 2018

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Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Author: Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Kathy Lewis, Consultancy Director, enjoys a multidisciplinary career based on a portfolio of achievement.  Kathy is a Management Consultant for Executive Travel Wellbeing and Stress, Health Promotion Specialist, Consultant Nutritionist (Registered Nutritionist and World Public Health Nutritionist) and a Chartered Marketer with over 25 years of experience.   Her specialist areas include executive stress and wellbeing (including jet-lag and travel wellness),  travel nutrition, travel policies, corporate vitality, employee engagement, marketing and internal communications. Kathy holds several relevant degrees, Masters in Applied Psychology (MSc) with distinction for her research in Executive stress and maladaptive coping behaviours looking specifically at clinical work-based stress and the impact on healthy lifestyles, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), with distinctions achieved in Management Accounts, Statistics and Project Management, completed with a research-based dissertation in the marketing of healthy options in catering establishments, and a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and Food Science.Over the last 25 years, Kathy has worked as a consultant and advised in various industries, from travel, health and food to financial services and telecommunications, on nutrition, executive wellbeing, workplace health, change management, internal communications and employee engagement. She has worked with a variety of clients across local government, NHS, educational institutes, NGO’s, national and multinational companies. As a Management Consultant (post-MBA) Kathy was required to travel to several locations each week and in 2002 began her masters in Applied Psychology (& Health Promotion) as a result of observing the stress in senior managers.  She was awarded a distinction for both her research on work-related stress and maladaptive behaviours and her course work.  Prior to this, Kathy spent many years working with catering establishments to provide healthy options, and prior to this working in diet and fitness centres, following her degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science in 1989.   Combining all areas of experience and expertise was the obvious way forward, and subsequently founded the concept of business travel vitality and wellbeing. Kathy is a former Consulting Editor for Readers Digest Association Inc (USA) and Readers’ Digest UK (Vivat), as well as the former founding Non-Executive Editor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Food, Drink and Agriculture group. As an author, she has written a number of publications and a variety of articles in consumer publications and professional journals, with guest media appearances on a number of radio shows, including the BBC, London and regional radio.  She enjoys public speaking on a range of topics and is a regular speaker at professional events. Kathy is also the Vice Chair of The Caroline Walker Trust, Founder of the International Forum for Health Promotion and Education, a board advisor for the Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy, the Vice-Chair/former Chair for the Financial Services Board at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, former Trustee/Non-Executive Director for the Association of MBA’s (where she chaired the Governance Committee and was a member of the HR Committee and Strategic Working Party), former Honorary Secretary for the Institute of Health Promotion and Education, a founding Council Member of the Association for Nutrition. Kathy was also a committee member for the Food, Drink and Agriculture group at the Chartered Insitute of Marketing and a current Non-Executive Director at NZ Engineering. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Association of MBAs, Institute for Travel Management, Association for Woman Travel Executives, Nutrition Society, SENSE, World Public Health Nutrition Association, Association for Nutrition (UK) and International Travel Writers Alliance.  She is a former member of the Institute Institute of Directors, Royal Society of Arts and Institute of Health Promotion and Education.

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