Are you familiar with this person? The one seated at the corner table of the cafe, laptop out? Coffee in one hand, cellphone in the other?
Maybe you are that person.
Working in a cafe is a great break from the home office. It has the bustle of a busy office space, only no one’s going to interrupt you to see what you have planned for the weekend. You have wifi access and an endless supply of (hopefully) good coffee.
But if you’ve ever found yourself grinding your teeth over the amount of time you’ve spent trying to get an email to send, you’ll know that the ‘cafe office space’ is not without its drawbacks.
Here’s a few things about the cafe office space you should take into consideration
- The unreliable internet – it was fine the other day, but today you’re facing a connection so slow that punching your computer screen has crossed your mind a number of times.
- The table-to-power outlet proximity – the battery on your laptop won’t last forever, can you get a table near enough to the closest wall outlet?
- The noise-productivity ratio – between the coffee grinder and the noisy group having their catchup two tables over, how much work are you actually getting done? Studies have shown that a noisy environment can reduce productivity by up to 66%!
- The nature of the work – In addition to not being quiet, cafes aren’t private either. You might run in to trouble if you have phone calls to make, or have confidential documents you’d rather not have read over your shoulder.
- The baggage – Sometimes it feels a bit like you’re off to the airport. Laptop, power adapter, headphones (you’ll need those if you want to block out the noise), phone, wallet, keys, the appropriate files/documents/papers, maybe even a portable hard drive. It’d be more than your carry-on bag limit, that’s for sure.
- The expectation – Unless you have a pretty solid relationship with the barista, there’s an unspoken rule that you keep ordering drinks or food. Particularly at busy times – you might find yourself on the receiving end of resentful glances by the staff for taking up valuable space. Don’t mind the steady stream of beverages coming your way? Mind you drink them slow – that’s our next point.
- The bathroom – After you’ve had a coffee or three, you’re probably going to need the bathroom. Have you got someone to watch your stuff, or do you have to pack it up and take it with you (and risk losing your table)?
Cafe office illusions ruined? Sorry about that.