Is a coffee shop really the best place to work?

Our generation are lucky enough to have the option to work remotely, which is great, but sometimes you just need to be around other people, right? If you are one of the millions that ditched the commute in favour of home working, heading to a coffee shop might be your first option to get out of the house for a bit.  Certainly, when I go into my local coffee shop, there are people sitting at the tables with their laptops conducting their work for the day.

But how productive are you within a coffee shop environment?  Would a hot desk within a co-working space suit you better?

Clearly, the biggest draw for choosing to work at a coffee shop is of course the availability of a wide range of premium coffee, drinks and food all on hand!  Coffee shops are often easily accessible and provide an informal atmosphere where you can immerse yourself in people; ideal for those who work best when there is some level of noise around them.

But ultimately, coffee shops are designed for leisure and may not have the facilities needed for you to work in the most comfortable way. In contrast, a co-working space is designed to be a productive, work environment.

A workstation for your needs

You turn up to your local coffee shop and there is no table available…. what do you do now? Or perhaps the available table is not ideal…maybe it is not near a charge point, or it’s not tucked away in a corner like you had hoped, so that you can make your phone calls or protect your screen from view?

At a co-working space, you can choose a workstation to suit you. With many options available such as hot desks, dedicated desks and offices, accessible with monthly memberships or day passes, you know there will always be a space there for you. In addition, each desk will have its own charge point, fast Wifi designed for office use and usually, a proper chair.

Maintaining focus on your work

Whilst co-working spaces are generally open-plan, unlike other public spaces, the people in them are there to work.  The noise is different and calmer from that of a coffee shop, where the drinks machines, music, phones, and several different conversations, may mean you lose your train of thought.

Within a co-working environment, you are surrounded by like-minded people, all there to get their job done.  As well as helping increase your motivation and productivity, you can build a network of professional people to turn to for support and advice.  You will also have the benefit of a meeting room or phone booths allowing you the privacy to make phone calls if needed.

Outstaying your welcome

You may find that not every coffee shop is welcoming of customers who stay for long periods of time.  Unless you are purchasing copious amounts of latte and cake, it is likely to be frowned upon for taking up a table any longer than a couple of hours.  By using a co-working space, you can come and go as you please (within the confines of the opening hours), enjoying the free tea and coffee provided, without feeling that you have to move on because your time is up.

And being in an office environment certainly eliminates one of the biggest problems of working in a public space – whether to leave your laptop and belongings when you need to use the bathroom or get some fresh air, or to take it with you and risk losing your table!

Worth every penny

Ultimately, the choice between a coffee shop and a co-working space will depend on the needs and work of the individual at any given time. But it is worth considering the points above when thinking about which environment would be most beneficial for you.

The thought of paying out for a desk within a co-working space may feel an unnecessary expense given that you can work at home or in a coffee shop for free. But have you done the math on how much it costs you for coffee and sandwiches in a week? And taking into account all the above benefits, maybe a co-working space offers a more cost-effective solution than you think!

Why not book a Day Pass and give it a try?

At Unity Co-working our day passes are just £15! Passes include free tea and coffee, fast wifi, free parking and a comfortable, homely environment to work in.  You can view our facilities and book online at

About the author : Will