Work From Anywhere: Seoul Edition

When you can work from anywhere for 30 days, why not choose Seoul?

By Helen Chang, Designer

Jun 2022

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Seoul is one of the fastest paced cities in the world. Here, a lifestyle of leaving the home to spend leisure and work time in other spaces such as cafes has become the norm - due to a combination of high density population and small residential spaces. 

This way of living has become especially popular with creatives who only require a laptop to be able to do their work. It’s pushed cafes in Seoul to expand beyond just a shop where coffee is served, towards being thoughtfully designed spaces and experiences where visitors are able to spend longer hours comfortably. 

Having had past experiences of living and working in South Korea I was able to experience it again thanks to M&C Saatchi's Work From Anywhere policy, which gives employees up to one month to travel anywhere to work. Now that I'm back home, I've collated my three favourite spaces where you can work, explore and connect in Seoul.

1. Wynyard Cafe, Seongsu-dong

Originally a neighbourhood filled with shoe factories in the 20th century, Seongsu-dong is now referred to as the Brooklyn of Seoul. Over recent years, young local artists and designers have transformed the area by taking over empty and unused factory spaces and turning them into trendy cafes, bars, galleries and restaurants. 

Cafe by day, natural wine bar by night, Wynyard Cafe is a place that suits a creative person wanting to work in a tranquil environment. A familiar name due to the owner having previously lived in Australia for some time, the versatile space boasts wide tables, ceiling-to-floor windows and a unique one-on-one customer experience. 

As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by a friendly barista working in a large, customer facing, by-hand coffee dripping area. They ask you to choose a seat, hang your coats and sit in the entrance lounge. From there, the barista talks in detail through your coffee bean options and non-coffee drinks, as well as seasonal dessert offerings to match your personal preference. 

The long, wide tables on the ground floor have subtle linen partitions every two seats for privacy, whilst the area upstairs has tables for groups of two to four. A quiet cafe that is mindful of its visitors, a mini zen garden is installed on the first floor with subtle nu-jazz playing in the background for minimum distraction whilst working.

After work, a place worth visiting for those interested in startup ideas and projects is ‘Space Wadiz’. Space Wadiz is a multicomplex building showcasing unique crowdfunded ideas from South Korea. Here you can try out and purchase successful startup products that have begun production ranging from cosmetics to food, tech accessories and more.

2. Moritzplatz, Mapo-gu 

Moritzplatz is a cafe located in Sinchon, Mapo-gu, a quieter area close to Hongdae. The two-level spacious cafe is filled with vintage furniture (think Herman Miller, Eames, Vitra) and lifestyle designer goods curated on both levels. Sprinkled around the space are poster designs, an array of art books and home deco, creating the perfect environment for creatives to work in.

Wherever you choose to sit, the furniture and art pieces have been thoughtfully placed so that you see a beautiful angle of the cafe. Being located on the outskirts of the busy Hongdae area, the cafe is mostly quiet and visitors are very mindful of others who have also come to work in the space.

When your work has finished, a wander through the streets of Hongdae for Korean street food or Yeonnam-dong, a new up and coming area that is popular for its dining scene, is recommended to fill your belly with contemporary Korean cuisine.

3. Onground, Seochon Village

Nestled between the historic Gyeongbok-gung Royal Palace and the vibrant new lanes of Seochon, Onground Gallery cafe stands out with its open front entrance. Designed by South Korean architect Byeong Su Cho, the intention of ‘Onground’ was to create both a cafe and an easily accessible gallery space for local artists.

A unique characteristic of this spacious cafe is that from the main front entrance, four layers of the entire ground level can be seen through a large hole in the first wall. The first layer is an indoor space, the second an outdoor area, third an indoor lounge space, and finally a green terrace. All vintage furniture and homeware goods used are said to be owned by the architect himself. The generous natural light and ample spaces reserved for quiet study can serve as a great place to do creative work alone or with a small group.

Seochon Village embraces the new and traditional side of Seoul, so after work you won’t be short on options. A visit to ‘Boan Books’ is recommended as it is located only a short walk from Onground Gallery. It has a great collection of local and international design books as well as art pieces and print items that can be purchased. 

Other things to do in this area include touring through the royal palace, visiting hand crafted clothes and jewellery stores by local designers up the street ‘Jahamun-ro 10 gil’ or eating traditional Korean food such as Jeon (vegetable and meat fritters) with Makgeolli, Korean sparkling white rice wine. 

Helen Chang

Designer at Re

Intrigued? Wondering where you'd go for your month working from anywhere? For more on what it's like to work at Re check out our careers page or reach out and say hello.




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