Often, when people move to a new town or city, one of the first things they do is start a search for the best local coffee shop. Along with finding a place to get the most delicious cup of coffee, sometimes your coffee shop search can be more than that.
With so many people working remotely, a café or coffee spot can make a great place to set up shop on your laptop every once and a while.
Believe it or not, there might be some real work-related and even mental health benefits to working in coffee shops sometimes.
The following are some reasons to consider making it part of your routine.
Having a Little Noise Is Helpful
We’re all chasing ways to be more productive. For many people, working at home when they can work remotely actually ends up being a little too quiet. Sometimes an environment that’s too free of noise and distractions makes it challenging to focus on what you’re doing.
On the other hand, a coffee shop or similar public setting might help you improve your creative output. It’s likely the ambient noise, which research shows can help your abstract thinking and allows you to be more creative.
There was a study in 2019 that found a phenomenon called stochastic resonance might be responsible for this. The idea is that just the right amount of noise can benefit our senses.
Background auditory stimuli might help with decision-making as well.
The Surroundings Can Be Motivational
Having other people around us who are working and being productive can help us do the same thing. That’s likely one of the benefits of working in an office setting—other people are hard at work nearby, which can influence you.
If you’re missing this influence working at home, a coffee shop might give you that same sense of motivation.
In fact, a 2016 study looked at this concept in more detail. In this research, participants sat next to each other in front of a computer. They were asked to do a task. The study found just performing a task next to someone who’s putting in a lot of effort on something will make you do the same.
Some people find this is an effect they notice at the gym. The effort of the people around them when they’re working out might also make them work harder.
Observing people working is a powerful motivator for a lot of us.
Variety in Your Visual Environment
When working in your home office, you’re probably not getting much of a change of scenery ever. You’re sitting in the same chair and looking at the same walls hour after hour and day after day.
It would help if you had visual stimulation. That’s why office design has always been so important. Visual stimulation enables you to think more creatively.
If you’re facing a work problem that you haven’t been able to come up with a solution to, a change in your visual environment could help.
You can wear noise-canceling headphones when you work at a coffee shop, but you might still get that creative jolt in your thinking because the visual stimuli around you are constantly changing.
Isolation can lead to depression and poor mental health. These are things that can impede your productivity and quality of work. If you work from home and feel isolated, going to a coffee shop or café puts you in an environment where you’re around other people, even if you aren’t necessarily personally engaging with them.
Right now, fighting against loneliness and isolation is something that many people are trying to do.
Add Structure To Your Work Routine
Some people aren’t equipped to work from home all day everyday because they have a hard time structuring their day and staying on task. When you leave home and go somewhere else to work, it forces you to get up, get dressed, and go somewhere where you’re more likely to behave professionally because you’re in public.
It can give you somewhere to be, which can help you better structure your day, even if you only go for a few hours a day or week to work.
Of course, not every coffee shop will help you work smarter and harder. You have to find that right fit for you, where you’re comfortable, have Wi-Fi available, and where you get some stimulus but not so much that it becomes overly distracting.