The image of someone sitting on their laptop in a coffee shop with their work covering the rest of the table is one we’re all familiar with. Aside from just being a stereotype though, it turns out that that image is quite true to fact in Britain if new research is anything to go by.

It was discovered that 81% of respondents spend around three and a half hours doing their work in a coffee shop every week, prompting the spaces to now become referred to as “Coffices”. While it may be assumed that it’s just the self-employed workers who make use of these shops as their own makeshift office, the locations have actually become popular with businesses of all sizes. The research found that a third of Brits had closed a business deal there; the same amount of people had also been to a “coffice” for a job interview.

Employers have opened up to the idea of using coffee shops judging by the 70% of respondents who said their place of work was happy to let them go there occasionally for a change of environment. Over £14.5 billion has been contributed to the UK economy as a result of business deals made in “coffices” which certainly paints these spaces in a positive light, but it’s not all good news.

Coffee shops are not known for their privacy, and workers who often look for quiet spaces in the office to get their head down and concentrate are at a particular disadvantage. The research found that 43% of the respondents were concerned about this lack of privacy and were less likely to be productive than if they were working in their usual place.

Alongside this, the “coffices” come with their own set of costs that, while minimal at first, can definitely build over time. On average, Brits spend £2160 a year when they work at a coffee shop because they buy a drink(s) and food every time they go there, plus the potential travel costs that may be required if their office is not nearby. Just because the wi-fi there might be free, it doesn’t mean that everything else is.

Coffee shops may have their advantages when it comes to providing a low pressure environment for interviews and business deals, but in terms of work its best done in a professional office space. Especially now, when there are so many revolutionary new designs that make the office an exciting and inspiring place to work.

James Darvill

James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand.
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