Coffee Shop Culture: Boon or Bane for Productivity?

These days, coffee shops have almost become synonymous with mobile offices. At first glance, one may wonder why. Well, coffee shops are known for their wonderful ambiance; the aroma of coffee permeates the air, the lighting is optimum and they can often become a central meeting point for different types of people who are unified by their love for a good cup of coffee and mouth-watering confectioneries.

What are the pros of coffee shops as mobile offices?

Coffee shops tend to have mellow background music playing, the whir of coffee machines and the sounds of conversations – one could say this is almost the equivalent to white noise. This subtle noise in the background can be useful and it helps people to concentrate better.

Coffee shops serve as excellent support systems for remote workers. Remote working has become ever so common in recent times, being facilitated by high internet speeds and global interdependence, this has its drawbacks, for instance – one may feel isolated when only connecting to coworkers online. The coffee shop patrons and the baristas can provide a community of sorts for such individuals to be a part of. Having a community of people who regularly check in on you can have tremendous impacts on health and wellbeing, after all, no man is an island.

We are always seeking ways to be more efficient and to cut down costs as much as possible and that is the appeal of coffee shop culture. It is more cost effective to use a coffee shop as a mobile office than renting out a facility or even coworking. The overheads are much lower. This can be a major advantage for freelance workers or self-employed individuals as they can enjoy the benefits of an office-setup without having to invest in capital equipment and furniture.

The proverb goes, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” In this instance, you cannot have your coffee and drink it too. Coffee shop culture has its cons.

It is all in the name “coffee shop,” their main product is coffee and possibly confectionaries like muffins and doughnuts. If you urgently need something faxed, scanned or printed, you have to go elsewhere. If you have to host a board meeting or make a presentation, the coffee shop ceases to be the appropriate place. Disruptions of this nature can take up valuable time and can cause frustration and lower productivity.

In this digital era, internet connectivity and a reliable power supply are paramount – to stay abreast with current affairs, to market your business, to communicate with remote workers and more. Suppose the coffee shop has a stable Wi-Fi connection, there are additional concerns. Using public Wi-Fi networks can pose security risks and increase the likelihood of being hacked or having one’s personal information compromised. Coffee shops can easily become the site for malware to be shared and sensitive information to be leaked. You wouldn’t want that.

Once again, we circle back to the reality that coffee shops are a business and their unique selling point tends to be… coffee. Coffee shops appeal to every demographic; the young, the old, professionals, high school students – and they all go out to these spaces with different agendas. Some seek to relax and wind down with friends after a long day of work, or get a quick cup of coffee to give them a boost during the working day. Simply put, there is a clash between those who are at the coffee shop for recreation and those who are trying to reach their KPIs and need a quiet environment so that they can concentrate. Coffee shop culture can backfire during periods of peak use when you just cannot find a quiet corner. You cannot regulate the noise.

In closing, coffee shop culture can give you a leg up depending on a number of factors. Are there a few people making relatively little noise on that day? Can you factor in how unpredictable it can get and being potentially sidetracked when someone you know walks in and decides to have a full-blown conversation with you? It is more affordable however, and you do get your quota for socialising.

WestProp’s developments are all located close to commercial areas that have quiet coffee shops in close proximity. Millennium Heights and Pokugara are close to Groombridge, Arundel, Sam Levy, Highland Park and Ridgeway North which all have cute coffee shops to work from. In addition to that, these WestProp properties will have WestProp malls nearby or within the estate like at The Hills Lifestyle Estate. As a WestProp resident, you could enjoy a lifestyle worthy of an Instagram or Pinterest feed.

Learn more about WestProp’s developments here.