Coffee Shops a Decent Place to Conduct Some Work – for a Little While, Anyway

Are coffee shops the best place to conduct business?

Flexible workspace provider Regus recently investigated “the perils of the remote worker,” who is often found working in spaces other than a traditional office. Result shows that on-the-go workers don’t mind checking emails in a coffee shop, but they can only work in this environment for a maximum of 20 minutes.

The research surveyed 44,000 respondents, including 1,869 Canadian professionals.

In Canada, the results found that 57 per cent agree that coffee shops are fine for checking email but not responding to email. Nearly one-half (48%) are happy to tap out a short reply over coffee before finding a more suitable working environment for more considered responses. In addition to cafes, 46 per cent of professionals will check emails while commuting on public transit, although only one-quarter will send out a quick response while on the go.



Most would agree that busy cafés and bustling trains are poor environments for intensive work such as checking and approving documents. In fact, fewer than one-in-ten say they will carry out core work duties or make conference calls while in a coffee shop. Privacy is a key concern, with workers avoiding sensitive calls and emails on-the-go because being away from the office in a non-professional environment is simply not suitable for work tasks that require time or sensitivity.

“With wifi available nearly everywhere, it’s convenient to stop at a coffee shop and skim through emails on a smartphone,” said Wayne Berger, VP of Regus Canada. “While a coffee shop may serve its purpose for a quick burst of caffeine while staying connected, it simply isn’t the best place to get work done, other than sending quick email responses.”

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