In this current age of technology, coffee shops are becoming the new workplaces. Historically, coffee shops have played the role of social platforms for friends to catch up, lovers to meet and business delegates to occasionally socialise. Coffee shops were once known not only as a provider of hot beverages but as vehicles of revolution, enlightenment, social interaction, political mobilisation and venues for great debates. Much has changed since then and while today’s coffee shops are still ideal for first dates, informal cups of tea and coffee after meetings, they are also becoming the new workplace.
Coffee shops – the professional choice
Coffee shops are now the preferred choice of many professionals who feel that a coffee shop is the perfect setting to help make “work” not feel like work. Coffee shops provide a relaxed atmosphere and ambience in which to be productive and the mouth-watering muffins with a hot cup of coffee to wash them down are of course always welcome.
Coffee shops – a freelancer’s haven!
A lot of freelancers find their homes more distracting than a bustling coffee shop. One can form relationships with friendly staff members, who become so accustomed to their likes and dislikes that one doesn’t even have to utter a word to get their preferred beverage and bite to eat brought to their table. Many coffee shops have tapped this trend and installed strong Wi-Fi hotspots to attract more devoted customers who treat their shops as their work spaces.
Even artists, painters, poets, sociologists and eccentrics have found inspiration at coffee shops. These places sometimes become a hub of like-minded people and enable networking and interaction among those of the same industry. Networks and connections formed through this kind of interaction can further career growth.
However, there are those too who can never sit at the same place. Some people find creativity becomes stagnant if they stick to one particular or confined space. Therefore it makes sense for these people to frequent different coffee shops. Many even conduct their meetings, have lunches and coffees with their clients and hold presentations on the tables of coffee shops. Such a setting is believed to create trust and improve the inter-personal dynamics with clients.
Coffee shops have also become both a feasible and desirable solution for those who have to finish their work under tight deadlines. The environment of a coffee shop is so relaxed that people tend to require fewer breaks and they do not have to waste time making small talk with fellow colleagues. Food and drinks are always available, and usually at a much higher standard than the office cafeteria’s food!
Breaking down the social barriers at coffee shops
Many years ago coffee shops in most European countries were closed to women. We have come a long way since then and today, coffee shops warmly welcome every guest regardless of gender, class and ethnicity. They banish the restrictions that an otherwise socially stratified space may create. A manager can be seated right beside a clerk! Such a setting eliminates any form of social consciousness and makes for a truly collaborative working space.
The freedom that comes from working in a coffee shop is rare, given the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan life.
So go and find a coffee shop and experience the novelty of working from there yourself!
Hannah Gray is a remote worker and writer for KLIX, the vending division of Mars Inc. Hannah finds writing in coffee shops more motivating than working from home.