Waking up a few minutes late and racing to leave the house on time is what most of us go through each weekday. We grab what we need, walk (or run) to the train station, coffee in hand, on the way to the office. This may be a typical work day for many of us, but for some, a typical work day starts at a coffee shop.
Why is the coffee shop so attractive?
- The coffee shop office has become popular ever since they started serving WiFi as part of their menu. Nowadays, everyone works from their laptop which enables us to work wherever we can get a good connection. It is marrying 2 functions: working and dining in one spot.
- The casual lounge seats create an informal drop-in meeting space that is so attractive for impromptu group meetings.
- Lastly, the de-stressing, home-like vibe makes it comfortable to work at, like home away from home without the distractions. Plus, access to nourishment throughout the day makes it more appealing.
So, what are the key points we can take away from the coffee shop office?
- Let's start with nourishment, I believe that a well-fed office is a happy office. I see this magic unfold during the holidays when the break room is overflowing with snacks. We seem to be in and around the break room chatting with those who we do not normally encounter. This becomes a good way to force casual collisions that are so critical in cultivating a collaborative and innovative culture. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh believes that the best ideas come from the casual collisions created by circulation and serendipity.
- Make the kitchen or break room appealing by placing cafe style tables and stools or picnic tables. Nice pendant lights, higher-end surfaces and cabinet finish materials complete an upscale yet comfortable ambiance.
- Create a space that offers a variety of seating arrangements that support different postures. Most of us work from our laptops which makes it easier to move around. Coffee shops provide plenty of seating options from typical chairs and tables, benches, lounge sofas and communal tables. By providing a variety of options, you are supporting the different work styles of your group.
- Create an inviting ambiance with soft lighting and color and materials. Materials like wood, polished concrete and accents of vibrant colors give a more comfortable, low key but polished decor.
- To cap it off, offer a regular spot for everyone's belongings. Provide lockers or some sort of storage where you can store reference materials, personal belongings, and works in progress.
Why is this important to point out?
A coffee shop office is great as an in between work and home workplace, but at one point you will need a space for your company to grow and offer a better presence in the industry you are in. Incorporating this comfortable, multi-functional space fosters productivity and allows the flexibility to work anywhere in the workplace. To that, it is also an attractive bonus in keeping and attracting new talent to your company.
For those who are already graduated from the coffee shop office, bringing this vibe into your current workplace can have an impact in how you work and get inspired throughout the day.