Why do people work from coffee shops? Let's dig in.https://remotenewbie.com

No matter if you're just starting out or if you've been working from home or digital nomading for a number of years, there's always new growing pains. Recently, Buffer released a State of Remote Work 2019 report that brought forth a number of challenges that I face myself but a number of other remote workers do as well. The most surprising statistic came when they asked the community, "What location do you primarily work from?”.The breakdown was as follows:- 84% work from home- 8% coworking spaces- 4% coffee shops and cafes- 3% other- .5% librariesI was so so so surprised to see coffee shops at 4% but it makes a ton of sense. Even though they are definitely noisy, there are certain work days that make sense for coffee shops.What makes a coffee shop a good choice when you're between working from the comfort of your home vs. getting out of the house? I talk about that in my latest issue of The Remote Newbie, here https://theremotenewbie.substack.com/p/the-coffee-shop-work-dayAnd here's more info on the weekly letter https://remotenewbie.com/, if you're interested :) Would love your feedback or suggestions on what you're struggling with! I'm always looking to push out content that directly answers questions from the remote community.Thanks for reading.
kuan's profile thumbnail
Hi Irma! Very cool newsletter idea. I would pick coffee shops because seeing other people working together can be motivating, and also the background noise can help with focus from time to time. The wifi in coffee shops is usually reliable. I don't take advantage of coffee shops as often because it's not a great place for calls.
justirma's profile thumbnail
Thank you! And I'm on the same boat, I do love being in coffee shops as they allow me to focus but it can get super tricky for video calls with my team. I have to be very strategic with it haha
torizhao's profile thumbnail
Mostly, comfort = low productivity
soumeya's profile thumbnail
I go to coffee shops when I want to change up my usual routine and explore a new one. I also go when I feel that home is too quiet or lonely and I want some social vibes...without having to be social. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but there is a low-cost social aspect to seeing strangers around you but not having to carry on any conversation beyond the first Hello.
mcemily's profile thumbnail
Seconded - break up the routine of home (especially if I've started to be less productive), separation of work and home life, generally wanting to be around people (I'm extroverted)
Kleo's profile thumbnail
Everyone has different needs for a workspace. I've never thought of "noisy" as the single drawback to coffee shops.
stephsmith's profile thumbnail
I personally prefer working from coffee shops because I love the "white noise" around me and the light distractions.However, I've always preferred working from places that aren't completely silent. I never worked from libraries in school because they would put me to sleep. 😅I think the most important aspects of a solid cafe for working are plugs, decent wifi, and decent chairs! Sounds simple, but most cafes aren't designed this way because they're meant for eating and not working. A lot more work-oriented cafes have been opening in places like Bali, but you don't see them much in places like North America.
justirma's profile thumbnail
You're totally right. There are some cafes that are not really engineered or set up in a way that tailors to someone looking to spend 3-4 hours working. Gotta find the right ones.
georgette's profile thumbnail
I would agree. I think some coffee shops that only have stools or maybe too loud of music want to keep the flow going and feel not as welcoming. I like the coworking-coffee spot hybrid a lot too. White noise is perfect for my focus!
KatiaParamonova's profile thumbnail
Interesting. I've found that the commotion around me forces me to focus, v.s. in a truly quiet space, a small noise / change can draw my attention away. A coffee shop visit is also a very set amount of time = a block of work. A cup of coffee I'm sure provides some stimulation, as well ;)
justirma's profile thumbnail
Yes, coffee does that for me as well! And I like how you put that, working at a coffee shop for a very set amount of time over it being a whole work day :)
Jolisa's profile thumbnail
I like working in coffee shops because of the overall vibe! I love the overall hum of the coffee shop and the interesting people that walk in and out.
justirma's profile thumbnail
Same! And you never know what kind of conversations you'll have the opportunity to strike up, which is always fun.
petitechou's profile thumbnail
I have never been bothered by noise since I grew up with a lot of family and friends constantly around me so I feel unnerved if it is quiet. I like coffee shops because other people can see my screen which means I feel embarrassed if I am not working. This slight form of public shame helps me stay focused
georgette's profile thumbnail
I work at home, in coworking spaces, and coffee shops. I think it depends. I usually change it up to get human connection, feel a little more productive, treat myself, keep myself on task. The noise of the coffee shop never really bothers me and I usually prefer a bit of noise, especially if I'm trying to shut out distractions— is this just me?! haha
christinetreacy's profile thumbnail
I also like working from coffee shops from time to time but find it funny that most people (myself included) put on headphones while they're working :) It's like we want the semi-social interaction/vibe but don't want to be bothered by *too* much commotion that we can't focus. At least that's how I see it! haha
georgette's profile thumbnail
I feel this deeply haha. It's also like when I go to work at a coffee shop for some small human interaction and then getting weirdly nervous to ask someone nearby a question like "what's the wifi?" haha
christinetreacy's profile thumbnail
So true!! I get weirdly nervous with stuff like that too sometimes.
taralynn's profile thumbnail
1. Cafe coffee > Keurig coffee 2. Being surrounded by other people that are working as hard - or harder - than I am makes me more motivated. 3. I am a napping pro & I cannot be in close proximity to my bed without getting the itch to nap. 4. I always worked from cafes in college, which is where I trained myself how to work effectively. I think it's like a form of conditioning - I will always be productive in cafes because that's where I learned how to be productive.
janepeh's profile thumbnail
I used to work/study from coffee shops because I needed to feed off the energy around me. Also when I was young, thought it felt cool to be "seen" whilst doing legit work (lol). I usually plug in so background noise is ok for me. Now, I rather work off from my office because there are too many distractions around. Talk about a change in mindset
gwenmcdonald's profile thumbnail
Sometime I prefer to visit a nearby starbuck and dig into my projects just to change the scenery. Don't you feel tire to listening the same songs from your album or library? Spice up my day and working in an environment with music played by someone else could motivate me in completing my project. A a matter fact, I am sitting in the Starbuck writing this little note. To all the women, enjoy this lovely day! cheers. Gwen
roussoudanedjakeli's profile thumbnail
Besides all the wonderful reasons mentioned here, I also sometimes find that the background noise sort of stresses me out and makes me want to get the work done faster just so that I can go back to the comfortable quiet of my room. It creates a tense environment and I have more motivation to escape it faster. Does that make sense?
tonianni's profile thumbnail
Makes sense to me! Couldn’t work in a coffee shop or cafe, yikes, can’t wait to get out when I even have just the coffee.
deirdresm's profile thumbnail
I often find working in coworking environments can be counterproductive, because I can't tune out any conversation. The reasons coffee shops sometimes work is that there's so much noise my brain doesn't focus on it. I've done some of my best work in non-optimum environments that are weirdly better than, say, your standard open plan office.
teresaman's profile thumbnail
Hey Irma, what a great newsletter idea! I almost always work out of a coffee shop if I'm working on things that do not requires calls. I find that seeing other people working helps me focus, and most importantly, keeps me awake.Also, if they make a delicious matcha latte, then it's all the more reason for me to go :)
abbyrose's profile thumbnail
I've recently been going to cafes/lounges/big lobbies that are located in nice hotels and have found it to be a much better work experience than your typical coffee shop (at least in NYC where I live). They are usually less crowded/noisy because people don't know about them, or they aren't as obviously there from the street-- as a result, it's easier to find a place to sit, and you don't feel the pressure to leave so quickly. Some of them don't even require you to buy anything (which I always feel the pressure to in a coffee shop). Plus, the chairs & ambience are often nicer.
tonianni's profile thumbnail
I’m surprised coffee shops is at 4% I thought it’d be higher. But it is one place you’d never see me working, aside from the trauma of being robbed in a cafe, the noise is impossible to deal with happily.Happy working to all who can and do! (To get out of my house, I go to the library, help my neighbours with chores or take a walk when husband is home. Working in quiet is best for me)
taylorlinn's profile thumbnail
I agree with @tonianni I really thought coffee shops would be higher than 4%! At least here in San Francisco every coffee shop is packed wall to wall with laptops. Personally I prefer to work from the comfort of home, and I only worked at a coffee shop when I didn't have access to wifi at home. Coffee shops are super convenient if you have one close by, but I would prefer a calm library.