There’s something about working in a coffee shop. The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, the gentle buzz of conversation, the whirring sounds of the espresso machine, and the feeling of being present in your local community.
A coffee shop is an office for a lot of people. It used to be my office.
I would frequent my local coffee shop to make use of the free wi-fi and enjoy delicious coffee, whilst exchanging the occasional inspirational conversation with another entrepreneur or developer sitting next to me (mostly it was them asking me to watch their bag while they went to the restroom).
Now I work in a team, in a really cool office. But we still find ourselves needing to get out and go to a coffee shop to work. Why?
The Perks of a Startup
One of the cool perks about working for a startup is the flexible schedule and ability to work from home, or a coffee shop. So the main reason we go to our local Bold Bean or Vagabond Coffee Co. on a Tuesday afternoon is because we can. It's that simple.
It feels good to be able to just break away from the desk that you associate with coding dilemmas, or marketing conundrums, and sit down in a nice comfy sofa and sip on a delightful pour-over that was made lovingly for you, rather than a lukewarm cup of cheap office coffee that was made six hours ago by your colleague.
It feels good to be able to just break away from the desk...
We encourage flexible hours at Uniteable. If you don’t feel like coming in at 9am, then don’t come in. Just make sure you let us know, and then make up your hours some other time – if you want to. If you want to take a day off on Friday, go ahead.
What this does is create a safe working environment where we all stay passionate about our company, and more importantly, the product that we are building together.
The quality of our work is better when we take breaks to work at a coffee shop, and actually we end up being more productive than if we just zone out at our desks for a couple of hours.
Inspiration Comes Outside of the Office
We usually go to a coffee shop to be creative. Whether that’s writing a blog post, coming up with a new design, or just brain-storming. The actual process of getting out of the office, getting in a car and driving helps us all become inspired. It helps me anyway.
Once there, I sit down, take a deep breath, smell the aromas, listen to the ambience, and stare at the taxidermy on the industrial character walls. It’s this fresh new environment that frees me to think in a new way. I’m able to find creative solutions to problems that have plagued me for a long while because I can see it in a new light.
Bring it Home
After a few hours, I’ll be tired of it and will want to get away from the sound of milk being frothed, or avoid hearing another track by Zero 7.
By allowing ourselves to step out when our productivity is taking a dive, we keep the office from feeling like a prison and more like a home - someplace we get to come back to. No one wants to be home all of the time but there's a comfort to being in a familiar place, especially after being away.
Stepping out and working in coffee shops gives room for creativity and productivity, but nothing really compares to our office and the culture we have created at 'home’.