Why Pay For Coworking Space When You Can Go To A Cafe

Today, coworking offices might check all the boxes for many businesses and employees. These spaces have various modern amenities, including secure and lightning-fast WIFI, comfortable seating, casual and fun breakout areas, office assistance, a working community and complimentary java.

But working from cafes to escape the office humdrum was the done thing in the past. Have the benefits of working from cafes evaporated in favour of working in coworking spaces, or are artisanal coffee shops suitable for some remote work?

Today, we're discussing the advantages and disadvantages of working at a cafe and how to improve your working conditions at a coffee shop.

Why Cafe-Hopping Might Work For You

Besides saving costs on renting space, working at a premium cafe could boost productivity and creativity. You might get more work done without bosses and colleagues disrupting your train of thought.

Many people believe that cafes are counterproductive working environments because they're noisy, crowded, chaotic and have bad WIFI, but that's not always the case. Here's why people love remote working in coffee shops.

Besides saving costs on renting space, working at a premium cafe could boost productivity and creativity.

The Coffee Shop Effect

With your laptop in front of you and your favourite coffee in hand, you might feel a greater sense of work freedom and autonomy that positively influences your work.

While working remotely in coffee shops, patrons might experience The Coffee Shop Effect. It's a term that refers to trading up your working environment for something new and reaping the benefits. In doing so, you're getting away from distractions at work and a mundane and predictable routine.

Switching up where you work can prevent you from forming unproductive work habits and becoming demotivated.

Background Noise Can Improve Your Concentration

The unrelenting hiss of the coffee machine, a group of students loudly discussing coursework, or the distant blare of traffic and other cafe-associated noises might make you lose focus. It may also be why you're considering a coworking space over your local restaurant.

But iconic figures like J.K Rowling and Bob Dylan, who produced their best work in cafes and tapped into their creativity, might respectfully disagree.

And they'd be somewhat correct: having background noise in your working environment isn't always the productivity-killer it's made out to be.

According to neuropsychologist Onno van der Groen from Edith Cowan University, cafe-related hubbub can improve your concentration and get you into the right frame of mind for working by stimulating your brain's sensory signals.

These activated signals help improve your mood, keep you calm, and even help you see things from a new, fresh perspective if you're stuck on a work problem. You'll come across several remote working opportunities, including the comfortable hum of background noise keeping you going!

The trick is to find the right balance - your focus will plummet if there's too much noise, so stay away from bars or places where live or loud music is playing. Similarly, you might struggle to work if it's too quiet.

The unrelenting hiss of the coffee machine, a group of students loudly discussing coursework, or the distant blare of traffic and other cafe-associated noises might make you lose focus.

A Relaxing Working Environment

Undoubtedly, remote working away from work stressors helps you relax and alleviate your job-related anxieties.

You're also away from negative energy and low moods in cafes and can calmly work without the usual tensions and pressures permeating traditional offices.

Cost-effective

Although you'll have to buy a coffee to use their WIFI, hopping from one cafe to the next is undeniably cheaper than renting an office.

If you find one close to home, you'll also reduce your transportation costs and time commuting to and from work.

Companies are also embracing remote work, saving on costs and benefitting from increased productivity from remote working.

The Pitfalls Of Working From A Cafe

Background noise might not hamper productivity in the ways we imagine but may affect those whose jobs require quiet and privacy. Because cafes have a social nature, working from a restaurant might be less than ideal for some.

Here are a few other reasons why coworking spaces might better fit you than cafes.

Because cafes have a social nature, working from a restaurant might be less than ideal for some.

You Have Limited Options

In a cafe, you're surrounded by strangers who might not respect or be mindful that you're working. While there is time to mingle, relax and chat over coffees with others, the primary purpose of being in a coworking centre is to work.

There are also designated spots in flexible workspaces that enable fun or socialising segmented from areas where people are grafting.

This isn't the case in a cafe where your seating options might be limited or close to someone pumping loud music or having conversations you can't block out.

You're Not Among Like-Minded Industry Experts

A great joy of being in a coworking facility is that you're not far away from like-minded folk to exchange ideas, network and collaborate. And if you're having trouble meeting people organically, coworking centres regularly host events where you can meet other professionals with similar interests.

You're surrounded by a random assortment of patrons in a coffee shop where your interests might be limited to a love of coffee or sweet things.

A great joy of being in a coworking facility is that you're not far away from like-minded folk to exchange ideas, network and collaborate.

Might Not Always Get The Table You Want

You might find your favourite cafe crowded with limited seating available depending on when you visit. What makes this even more problematic is that there might only be a few spots to charge your laptop, phone and other accessories - which will be needed if you spend a couple of hours working from a cafe.

This isn't a problem at a coworking centre, especially if you've signed up for a dedicated workstation you can use daily. Moreover, you won't have to sit close to strangers with COVID still circulating.

Can't Access Cafes 24/7

Working from coworking centres is ideal for freelancers who don't follow a fixed routine. You'll have difficulty finding a cafe open if you're more productive in the evenings or frequently work past 5 pm. The same applies if you start really early in the mornings.

Many coworking spaces have flexible hours, with some never closing that can be accessed around the clock for shift workers or emergency work.

Security Can Be An Issue

In a crowded cafe, it's not the best idea to leave your stuff unattended while taking a toilet break or a quick phone call.

You'll probably have to pack up all your stuff for these activities even if you're not planning on leaving yet. Frustratingly, you might find your seat taken up by another person on your return.

Coworking centres typically include lockable storage units that hold your valuables so that you're not confined to your desk. There are also security cameras throughout the coworking centre that you can refer to if your possessions go missing.

Coworking centres typically include lockable storage units that hold your valuables so that you're not confined to your desk.

Can't Eat Your Own Food

Unsurprisingly, you can't eat your own food at a cafe but are limited to what you can purchase there.

Not only do coworking centres allow you to bring in meals from home, but you can prepare them or warm them up using appliances in the kitchen.

You might also enjoy perks like free bottomless coffee, fruit and other snacks.

Less Secure WIFI

Working from a cafe might not be recommended if you're working with highly sensitive data.

Even cafes with decent WIFI might not be as secure or as fast as connections at shared office spaces.

Additionally, you'll need seamless WIFI that won't let you down for Skype or Zoom calls. You can't be promised that at cafes where the internet is free, possibly capped and likely low quality.

Few Spots For Privacy

Working at a cafe might be fine if you're alone and don't take business calls. But a coffee shop might not be appropriate for hosting important meetings, organising catchups or making calls.

Cafes with WIFI don't usually have cordoned-off spaces where you can conduct business privately or quietly.

The opposite is true in coworking spaces, where you can easily book meeting rooms and other facilities that prioritise privacy.

No Support Staff

As far as technical support goes, the baristas can only provide you with a password to the WIFI.

If the internet glitches or something else goes wrong, there might not be staff immediately able to rectify the issue. Dedicated IT support in shared workspaces and can quickly get you back to work.

At the same time, although the coffee shop makes a decent makeshift workspace, it isn't your office nor a permanent business address. There won't be people there to take your calls when you're busy or pick up your mail when you're not in.

In a coworking centre, onsite staff might provide receptionist services, admin support or greet your guests and introduce them to the workspace if you're caught up.

In a coworking centre, onsite staff might provide receptionist services, admin support or greet your guests and introduce them to the workspace if you're caught up.

Looking For Coworking Space?

Office Hub offers various types of coworking spaces around the globe to match your preferences, budget, style and more. Reach out to find out more or start a FREE search!

Let us guide you

We know the search process for a new workspace can be overwhelming, that’s why our team are here to help through every step of the way.