Why is it people work of our cafes and other places on their laptop? Is it just a yuppy, hipster thing? Nope. Here are some reasons why people do it.
Asked why she likes to spend time working on her laptop in cafes, Sydney-based digital marketing specialist, Rachel Beaney tells me itís a creative way to meet deadlines. "I have an hour to finish a project because either my laptop battery will run out or I need to order a second coffee!" But thatís not all: "People think differently in different environments - it's a good way to generate new ideas [exposing yourself to a change of scenery]".
To be sure, there are a plethora of reasons thousands of freelancers, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, professionals, and every other worker in between descend on places like cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, and libraries to get work done. Either with a laptop, notepad, or client in tow.
It's not a new thing. In the 1920s, the great writer,†Ernest Hemingway was affected so much by the cafe culture of Paris,†that his favourites - notable Les Deux Magot - became characters in his famous title, A Moveable Feast.†Indeed, it was endemic at the time for the cityís literary and intellectual elite - think Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso - to hole up in these bustling places of great culinary and alcoholic repute, to read and write and perfect their arts.
Les Deux Margots in Paris. If those walls could talk. Image:†Jack Torcello.
Let's go over some of the reasons why people like to work on their business in cafes - other than to look like Hemingway or the promise of cake!
When I freelanced, I'd spend at least an hour a day working somewhere different - a local cafe, pub, library, park, anywhere. In fact, if the weather was particularly nice Iíd hop on the train and head for Belair National Park for a hike; emailing away as the train†charged toward me toward my afternoon treat.
Companion Coffee in Kreuzberg, Berlin. As you can see, it's popular with the Macbook brigade.
Even if you work in your own office or a co-working space the distractions can be rife. Ringing phones, loud-mouth colleagues, constant disruptions.
Stepping out for a bit can be a great way to shed all of those annoying distractions and get some work done. Or, you could do what Kate Toon did and build a hut (erm, I mean "Toon Cave") in your backyard!
Great opportunity to grab a drink 'n' bite, too.
If you're on display you want to look like you're doing something important and worthwhile, right? Which makes it hard for us social media types - it must look like we just sit on Facebook and Twitter all day. We're doing important work, honest!
If you're working out of a cafe or restaurant you're obliged to buy something. (Keep an eye on this blog as I want to write something soon about 'coffice' etiquette.) The longer you take up a table the more you have to buy. If youíre going to spend a couple of hours at a place a couple of coffees and some lunch is probably a good deal.