Coffee Shop Or Coworker Space: Time To Level Up?

We all love visiting the coffee shop – and no one can blame us for that. Who wouldn’t enjoy the relaxing ambiance, the comfy couches, and the amazing caffeine-enriched beverages?

Well, the question often gets asked: are coffee shops an ideal place for work? Can they actually compete with coworking spaces? The answer may vary from person to person.   

Coffee shop or coworker space: which is the better workplace?

For some, of course, it depends on individual preference.

However, here’s the thing… Sure, working at a coffee shop can be undeniably fun but there are certain perks only coworking customers can enjoy.

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Case in point, The Guardian contributor Suzanne Bearne conducted a personal experiment to find out which place is most productive. Is it the home, coffee shop or coworker space? Interestingly, she later ended up rating both the home and the coffee shop with a 5/10. On the other hand, coworking received a 9/10 score.

Bearne went on to describe cafes as “not the environment for knuckling down to write and edit.” She was, however, quick to note that she’d still “return for meetings, emailing and admin work. And the delicious smell of coffee.”

Let’s look at several important factors to see why the coffee shop isn’t actually the superior pick for serious professionals.

#1. Seating availability

The first thing to remember, of course, is that seating arrangements in a café are obviously limited. For the most part, you’ll have to settle for whatever seats are going - or wait your turn.

This will not be a problem for those using coworking services. Coworking spaces provide day pass and hot desk users with a guaranteed desk in a shared workspace. Meanwhile, dedicated desk customers get designated desks and secure storage spaces where they can leave their belongings.

Now imagine bringing your team together. You have the option of booking a private office. A coffee shop, on the other hand, isn’t obliged to reserve seats and tables. It’s usually a first-come, first-serve rule in cafes.

#2. Stable internet connection

A reliable internet connection is a must to achieve work productivity. While coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi, there are instances when you might encounter an unsteady signal. Management is not obliged to do anything about sudden outages.

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By contrast, coworking spaces invest in fast and secure internet connection. They even have backups in case of connectivity issues. And they use internet subscriptions suited for business operations. You can keep working on your projects without worrying about losing Wi-Fi.

#3. Professional amenities and facilities

Here’s a quick question: Which one do you think offers a better work experience overall: a coffee shop or coworker space?

It should be pretty obvious, right?

Cafes welcome those who want to work at their shops but let’s face it: coworking offices are better because they are mainly designed for work. Everything from their furniture and interior decor to their lighting and ambience are chosen for that purpose.

Furthermore, they offer additional amenities and facilities not available in most coffee shops. For example, the best will have scanners and printers for your document needs.

Need to meet with your clients or investors? Coworking spaces have conference rooms you can use. Want to take a call in private or maybe record an episode of your podcast? They have phone booths or other private areas there as well.

#4. Time flexibility

Another thing about coffee shops is that you will likely have to keep purchasing products throughout the day. Because, you know, it’s embarrassing to stay there for a long time if you only bought a single cup of latte.   

As a coworking user, you won’t experience the same pressure. You can work the entire day since the best spaces are accessible 24/7. Need to work until the wee hours to meet a deadline? You’re always welcome to do that there. No one will judge or bother you!

#5. Networking opportunities

When it comes to networking opportunities, the possibilities are limitless in coworking spaces. You always get to mingle with entrepreneurs, startup owners, thought leaders, freelancers, digital nomads, innovators, and other like-minded professionals. In short, you’ll be part of a new community and meet new people. Social interaction could lead to lucrative collaboration in short order.

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As the US Chamber of Commerce explains it:

“Coworking spaces can be a shared location where people with varying business ideas can get together and learn from one another.”

Moreover, this could contribute to your overall well-being.

“The interactive dealings with others throughout the day,” according to Entrepreneur.com, “is healthier for the mind and body and results in a happier you.”

#6. Unlimited coffee and tea

To state the obvious, yes, coffee shops win over many coworking spaces in offering the best food and drinks. It is still, however, worth noting that most coworking spaces offer unlimited coffee and tea for their customers. This means you can still get your caffeine hit to give you that much-needed boost during your busy moments. Best of all, you won’t have to spend any extra cash since coffee and tea are often available for free.

The bottom line: Coffee shop or coworker space? You take your pick!

At the end of the day, it all boils down to your personal preference and working style. If you’re just doing light work for a few hours, sure, there’s nothing wrong with bringing your laptop to a coffee shop.

On the other hand, coworking is a better idea if you plan to work for an extended time period. If you’re not ready for the cost and commitment of a dedicated desk package, you can get a day pass in the meantime. This will allow you to decide if coworking is for you. 

If you have a positive experience, then feel free to stay on and upgrade your membership. Otherwise, you may cancel and simply try another coworking provider in your area. Besides, your goal is to find an office where all your “digital, privacy and logistical needs (are) taken care of.”

So be ready to take your game to the next level by taking advantage of the benefits only coworking can offer.

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