If you frequent coffee shops regularly- be it a huge chain like Starbucks or your local tiny cafe- you know that the sight of people working away on their laptops with a drink nearby. Or maybe you're a part of that group on a regular basis. Regardless of where you fall, you don't have to feel so guilty about partaking in this activity because it might be beneficial for your productivity.
As reported by Harvard Business Review determined that more people are productive when working at a coffee shop than in an open-concept office. Not only that, but people prefer to work inside a coffee shop instead of an open-concept office setting.
One big reason for this has to do with preferences in background noise. While most everyone agrees that some noise while working is acceptable, the key point is what kind of noise is going on in the background. The sounds generated within a coffee shop consists of ambient music, noises from behind the coffee bar, and most importantly, idle chatter from fellow patrons.
In contrast, the most popular sound that comes from an open-concept office includes loud gossiping from co-workers amidst relevant conversations. Most who participated in the study admitted that they tend to get distracted by co-workers' chatting away than mild talking inside a coffee shop. In addition, background noise can be shut out in a coffee shop if you throw in a pair of headphones — an option not viable in many open-concept offices.
Another big part has to do with the social aspect of each work environment. In a coffee shop, everyone is seen at the same level and feels obligated to act in a respectful manner. An open-concept office is full of employees at different levels, where some believe acting in a dominant manner is more important than being respectful. Conversation inside such an office can be loud, toxic, and highly distracting.
With all this in mind, it's not hard to understand why more people wish to work away from open-concept offices in favor of working in a coffee shop. Apps such as Skype or Slack can help you stay connected with bosses and co-workers alike, making it easier to stay in the loop with projects or meetings going on. While it's not always possible to create such a relaxing work environment, it's clear that more will want to do this to get away from the toxic political environment of an open-concept office to work with like-minded people in a coffee shop.
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