The current economic climate has more and more workers turning to their local coffee shops as an alternative to working from home. But there are things to keep in mind when picking a remote location for your office.

Working from home presents some challenges when it comes to maintaining balance between personal and work life. But that doesn’t mean working from the office is the most fun or productive way to spend your day either. For workers who want the flexibility of working on their own, but crave the energy of an office environment, the challenge is finding a happy medium.   

So, if you still want that sense of belonging and camaraderie that you get from grinding it out in an office every day, consider the plusses and minuses of ditching your office digs for your local coffee shop.  

The Pros

Here are three perks to setting-up shop at your local place of perpetual percolation:

Coffee Cooler Chat: Eaves dropping on the conversations between people at other tables can be more entertaining than listening to your cube mates whine about the boss around the water cooler. Not to mention your typical coffee shop barista is likely going to be in a better mood than your office coworkers.

The Corner Office: We all like a little natural light and your local coffee shop will often afford you the opportunity to choose when you want a “window-view” desk rather than waiting to be promoted to one. Depending on the time of year, you may even get an outside table. 

The Coffee Bean Network: For some, the monotony of seeing the same people every day can start to grate on you. Your coffee shop perch can give you the opportunity to network with interesting folks from a variety of backgrounds. Who knows, you may land your next job through a coffee shop connection.

The Cons

To be fair, there are some drawbacks to being a coffee shop commando:

DJ Barista: Most coffee shops always have music playing, and depending on the store and the staff at that particular time, it may be a little on the loud side and not to your liking. Even if you like plugging into your own music, maintaining concentration and taking phone calls can be a challenge.

Can You Watch My Laptop: In an office setting, it’s perfectly natural to leave your desk and wander off. When it comes to working at your local coffee shop, you may want to think twice about leaving your laptop while you make that caffeine-induced bathroom run.

The subculture of coffee shop workers is growing, but it’s certainly not for everybody. The next time you find yourself a little frustrated with the black tar your early bird coworker brews every morning, head on over to your local coffee shop for the day and see how you like it.

 

PS: I wrote this entire column at the Starbucks in Virginia Beach on Pacific Avenue and 31st street.      

 

Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and the new on-line course The YOU Plan for Career Change on Udemy. Dr. Woody is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook.