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The case for getting work done while at a coffee shop

A new study reveals why there are actual benefits to getting your work done from a coffee shop over an office, with three main benefits spelled out for you that will help you to understand why you enjoy working from your local coffee shop.

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Weighing your work options

When choosing the best work environment, you have many options to consider. You already know the two main options – either work from home or work out of an office—but how about choosing some place that’s in between, finding that happy medium? While the idea of working in a coffee shop as a small business pro and entrepreneur has become cliché and almost a joke, there are actually many real benefits. If you’ve not yet found the perfect workspace or you feel like you need an improved change, consider making a local coffee shop your next step. And here’s why.

Benefit number one

A recent study  in the Journal of Consumer Research has found that ambient noise actually benefits and improves creative cognition. This means that it can be easier for you to focus and increase your productivity when you have that noise in the background, but not just any noise. The average, busy coffee house has a noise level of about seventy decibels, which happens to be the perfect noise level for reaching optimum levels of creativity and professional production.

Also, the findings conclude that fonts that are harder to read—like on a computer screen, for instance—can help and encourage your mind to work more abstractly and creatively. And the combination of the fonts and background noise of working at a coffee house can do wonders for you, as a professional.

Benefit number two

A second, and less studied, benefit of taking your work with you to your local coffee shop is that it’s an ever-changing environment. Working from your home or at an office is monotonous. Everything is the same, every day. You can become as stagnant as your work environment. It can cause boredom and make you antsy for something new. However, taking your laptop or tablet to a coffee house and working there will give you the ability to sit in the same seat all day and have a change of scenery every few minutes, as people rush in and out throughout the day. This can create increased motivation and even excitement in your work, as your mind will try to mimic the hustle and bustle of the coffee house.

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Benefit number three

Third, choosing to work in a coffee house full-time means you save money on things like rent, utilities, and internet bills, not to mention you have all-day access to coffee and delicious baked goods. It’s also a great place to network with like-minded professionals, as you won’t be the only one typing away on a laptop.

While making your local coffee shop your workspace—whether temporarily or permanently—isn’t for everyone, it can be a fantastic place to get down to business and use your professional creativity to your best advantage.

Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.



  1. City Chic

    March 11, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I totally agree about working in a coffee shop–or Panera. Anyplace with lots of hum, coffee refills, and variety. I’m a freelancer and find that I don’t get anything done at home, but can write volumes at my favorite “offices.”

  2. bficker

    March 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Not a very scientific study, but I would guess that I get twice as much work done in a coffee shop versus my office. In the office, everyone wants to chat about short sales, the market, etc. but no one seems to be doing ACTUAL work. Surrounded by people, I actually have more privacy to get my work done.

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