Ever since I was old enough to realize there would never be a want ad in a newspaper that described a job I wanted, I’ve loved working in cafes.
I never really thought much about it until a few days ago when a baffled friend of mine asked why I was so into it.
That working in a cafe would be a distraction.
Dude, quite the opposite.
And so, at the risk of trotting out a few half-baked conclusions that my non-cafe-going critics will have a field day trashing, here goes:
20 REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE TO WORK IN A CAFE
- It doesn’t feel like work.
- It’s a nice break from the office.
- You don’t have an office.
- Easy access to caffeine.
- If you have a home office, you appreciate the fact that — in a cafe — there are no interruptions from your wife/husband/kids/roommate who rarely think they are interrupting you when they stick their head in your office and begin their conversation with something like “I’m not interrupting you, am I?”
- The act of going from your office to a cafe gets the creative juices flowing.
- You get a whole bunch of unexpected inputs that change your perspective for the moment (i.e. snatches of conversation, songs on the radio, odd posters on the wall).
- There are no distracting tasks to default to (i.e. cleaning your desk, filing, tossing paper clips over the cubicle wall).
- The people in your office want you to talk in hushed tones and have a need for you to appear busier than you really are.
- Being waited on by the cafe staff puts you in the mode of “things coming to you” without much effort.
- You focus on your most creative projects.
- It feels good being part of a community — even if the community disbands after your third cappuccino.
- Old patterns are interrupted. New patterns emerge.
- You like the authenticity of your responses when the geek at the next table, peeking up from his Mac, asks what you’re working on.
- It’s like having a focus group at your beck and call. You can ask anyone for their opinion and they’ll give it, no strings attached.
- If you work at home, it’s just a matter of time before your spouse asks you to move a piece of furniture or clean the bathroom.
- It brings out the artist and poet in you.
- If you go back to the same cafe again and again, you develop trusting relationships with some of the other regulars — sharing enthusiasm, feedback, and croissants.
- If anything breaks, someone else has to fix it.
Any other reasons I missed?
Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.