7 Productivity Advantages Pro-Work Members Have Over Coffee Shop Squatters
by Glen Hicks
Who doesn’t love a cozy or creative coffee shop? Designed to be as welcoming as a neighbourhood living room, many coffee shops and tea rooms create that “third space” that is important in every community.
For those of us who have experience working remotely from home, they are especially attractive because they let us get out of the house, near and with people, so many of us can meet personal needs that support productive work.
So when it comes to proworking or co-working spaces, some people question "why would I pay for that when I can just work or meet a colleague at a coffee shop?” Great question. Coffee shops do typically provide good options in terms of location, however, when actually working or conducting a meeting in one versus a co/pro-working space there is a world of difference.
Meet personal needs that support productive work
Work needs in 2019 can be met at a far more personal level and the things we’ve learned about what helps a person be productive are extensive. Basically, coffee shops meet a personal need but they may not meet important needs for productive work and that’s why proworking and some co-working environments are an important service in an independent professional’s portfolio of options.
Let's explore 7 different reasons why it is more effective and productive to visit a proworking space.
1. Faster, Safer, More Reliable Internet
Coffee shop WIFI is generally wide open, just like the welcoming atmosphere. WiFi in a coffee shop is not usually designed to handle high volumes at quality performance, nor is it typically supported or able to provide any level of reliable security for your personal data. They are typically open networks, requiring you to have VPN software on your device to protect yourself on their relatively slow connection. A good proworking space will provide fast, private WiFi as a basic right.
2. Beverages Included
If you were to add up the cost of coffee alone to justify your butt in a desirable coffee shop seat it could run you $10-20/day (depending on your level of gratitude, social sensitivity, or whatever you call that hidden fee) which is comparable to access to a proworking spot.
Coffee increases one’s need to visit the washroom, am I right? Unless you’ve got a colleague in tow, when it’s time to visit the loo, your coat and laptop need to go too. Proworking locations are monitored with security cameras like some coffee shops, but they also keep a record of who is on the premises. This makes it much safer to leave your laptop when you need to run to the washroom and they often have lockers to store your stuff in when you need to step out for lunch or a walk.
4. Better Ergonomics
Coffee shop tables are designed for eating and drinking. Desks, tables and chairs in a proworking space are selected for working so ergonomics and comfort for longer periods of time are considered and prioritized to some degree. There is also a much more generous supply and placement of power outlets for charging your devices in proworking spaces because work needs power. Those coffee shop seats are not intended for you to spend the afternoon.
5. Less Traffic and Distractions
A coffee shop can be a constant, ”Hi, how’s it going? What’s going on?” which can be a lot of fun for a few minutes. When you’re there for work, this can become a constant and incessant distraction. In a pro-working space it is understood that you are there for work so there are typically expectations for etiquette. For example, in our space, earbuds in the ears mean do not disturb. Often I don’t have any media playing through them.
6. Private Spaces
So what do you do when an important call comes in at a coffee shop or someone needs to meet you there for a sensitive conversation? Most people leave the coffee shop or whisper like a kid. When you need to take a call, have a private or quiet meeting or conference call or video, there are facilities available in proworking spaces to allow for that.
7. Business Services
Even the most digital workers need some traditional physical business services now and again because we work in a world where these things still play a role. Access to printing, faxing, mail service, or scanning are easy to access and use with a proworking membership and can often fit better alongside your other apps and web-based services than what you can get from a local office outlet. And when the professional place where you often work is also the place where you pick up your mail, that’s a bonus because that’s going to be around for a while.
Not everyone needs these benefits to get their work done. Proworking goes a step further than a simple “shared space” or “private coffee shop” and can empower productivity for many people. Coffee shops continue to be wonderful places to take a break or meet a colleague but in today’s digital, cyber-insecure world, they aren’t always the best place to get to work.