Last week I was talking to a coworker who stopped by to test Beta Bar Coworking for the day. She’d traveled throughout Europe and Asia extensively as a digital nomad working in a variety of venues including coworking spaces, coffee shops, and hotels.
As our discussion of her travels continued, I was reminded of a few of my own reasons for why coworking beats working from a coffee shop any day:
#1: No equipment
Have you ever been drafting an urgent email or completing a critical business task only to see that low battery warning pop up in the corner of your computer screen? We all have; the only thing worse is being in a coffee shop and realizing there’s nowhere to plug in your dying computer. Add to that inconvenience a need for printing a contract or scanning a requirements document, and it’s clear that a coffee shop falls short of the basic needs for doing business.
Any standard coworking space will prioritize providing ample power outlets throughout the facility and provide for basic business needs like printing, scanning, and high-speed internet.
#2: Smokey air
In the Balkans in particular, non-smoking areas are nearly non-existent in coffee shops. So, in order to work from a coffee shop here, you have to endure hours of breathing smokey air. In my case, I left with watery, red, itchy eyes – no fun after a full day of work.
Coworking spaces typically offer non-smoking facilities with designated smoking areas for our smoking friends.
#3: Judgy eyes
Whether from coffee shop workers or other visitors, it is always easy to tell when you’ve overstayed your welcome. Even when ordering items from the menu throughout the day, there still comes a point when restaurant owners would rather you give up your table for those who will order more than a perpetual supply of coffee and low-priced food items.
Coworking spaces are designed for people who are driven to work hard. Whether you choose a dedicated desk or flexible workspace, you’ll never be greeted with judgy eyes for wanting to work longer – maybe just a gentle reminder about the importance of work-life balance for the entrepreneur.
#4: Security concerns
One of my least favorite parts of working in a coffee shop is when all that coffee intake finally hits, and I need to run to the restroom, which means I need to pack up all of my stuff and chance losing my table. The risk of losing my computer outweighs the hassle of packing everything up to take with me, but then I have to start the whole process of getting a table and ordering again, which means wasted time.
At a coworking space, you really get to know the people with whom you work and develop a layer of trust within the community. You never have to worry about leaving your items unattended because you always have someone to watch your back – or your bag. 🙂
#5: Uncomfortable workspace
I hate having a cluttered workspace. I far prefer having everything organized and in its proper place. When working from a coffee shop (with my coffee cup, my plate with a half-eaten sandwich, my computer, my notebook, the unneeded ashtray, the complimentary glass of water, etc.), that’s nearly an impossible standard. Plus, even the best coffee shop’s table and chairs get uncomfortable after a few hours of sitting and working.
On the other hand, coworking spaces often boast large workspaces with ergonomically designed tables and chairs. Additionally, the separate spaces for lounging and working make it easier to maintain a clean, tidy workspace while also enjoying a quick lunch.