We have a standing joke in our family about how much money I spend going for coffee. My husband doesn't drink it, and just doesn't get why I love taking my laptop to coffee shops to work. It's only recently that I've been doing a bit of soul searching with my life generally, that it has become clear that my need to work in cafes is actually about a lot more than just the coffee...
When you work at home you don't have the separation between home and work, you don't have the commute, and you don't have a journey to a destination. For me, going to spend an hour working in a coffee shop satisfies the need to click in to 'work mode', to leave the chores behind and have a dedicated work space. It also means that I have a reason to go for a walk, or a bike ride and enjoy some fresh air along the way.
Never underestimate how productive you can be working away from the house. I do my best work in coffee shops, I feel focused, in the flow and the time limit of knowing I have 90 minutes say, really helps me prioritize and get things ticked off my to do list.
A Warm Welcome
Choose the right coffee shop, and it fulfills the need to be around like minded people. I really miss working in a team. When I worked in TV I loved the office banter, making rounds of tea and having a little distraction from stressful moments in the job. Working at home can be isolating and lonely, but popping in to your 'local' and getting a friendly hello, and how are you, can make all the difference. I'm not saying that working for yourself is depressing in any way - I love it! But I also need to satisfy my gregarious side (networking and meetups are also a key part of my self employed routine).
So maybe the coffee itself does play an important part! After a restless night being up with the kids, it's a lovely ritual to sip a latte while I work and the caffeine definitely gives me a boost and clears my mind. It takes a lot of willpower not to accompany the coffee with cake however....
There are lots of cafes and restaurants who are tapping in to this market of remote working, and another venue close to me is Urban Reef, who are promoting work space for digital nomads in their restaurant upstairs, such a great idea. For more ideas of where you could work check out this article on Startups.co.uk
I have resolved that I will no longer feel guilty for wanting to work in coffee shops. Even from a financial standpoint, paying for a few coffees is still cheaper than renting an office or even a desk space. But more importantly spending time embedded in my local community, getting to know people and feeling involved, is a hugely important part of my working week.
Do you relate to this? Or have you found other ways to break up the isolation of working alone?
Photo featured is of Little Pickle Deli in Boscombe, Dorset