With so many entrepreneurs and small business owners working on the move, the humble coffee shop can be the ‘go to’ place to get some work done.
Serviced office provider Regus conducted research into the challenges of working from a café, and despite having a clear agenda – their findings are food for thought.
The following factors were identified as challenges to working in cafes, and may be considered by entrepreneurs thinking about making the switch:
- Privacy issues in terms of managing conversations and documents
- Difficulty is leaving equipment and personal belongings unattended
- Other customer’s conversations disturbing productivity
- Other customer’s conversations disturbing my work telephone calls
- Difficulties accessing office equipment (printer, fax, photocopier)
- Unreliable or slow internet connection
- Lack of access to company documents
- Unprofessional location for client meetings
- Difficulty concentrating on work issues
- Bad diet due to constant temptation of coffee and sugary or pre-packaged foods on offer
- Bad posture
- Inability to video-conference
- Bad or unreliable telephone reception
Not surprisingly, baby boomers were more likely to deem the café as an unprofessional location for client meetings with 52% of reporting this, compared to 45% of Gen X and only 38% of Gen Y.
Country Head of Regus Australia, Jacqueline Lehmann, said their past research has shown that 35% of Australian workers spend half their working week outside their main office, and many of these employees rely on coffee shops as a key ‘third place’ for work.
“Although working from your nearest café may sound tempting – free Wi-Fi, the buzzing environment and permanent access to your caffeine fix – there are some series issues to consider for management when asking your employees to work on the road,” Lehmann said.