Does shifting to the coffee shop work?


People seem to feel rather than know how they want to work and are not great at explaining it. Take away something which is assumed to be a regular and ongoing part of their working world, something which is really needed. All of a sudden that thing becomes more real and more talked about. 

I’ve been working on how to explain how ‘work’s not working’ in presentations, so the concept of failure comes up often. Believe it or not, it’s hard to find good examples of what is working. Lots of hype, little hard, written, formal evidence of what is really going on behind the scenes.

The evidence of work not working is often visual or anecdotal. Take the move away from the humble cubicle for example. Activity based work in theory allows people to choose the place in which they feel they will be most productive for a particular task. They are then encouraged to move through a series of these places over the day.

If you take away ‘ownership’ of a desk, you’ll probably find people colonising a new spot. It might be that the new spot meets their needs better or worse than the old spot (their desk). A manager might want to know more about what that means to keeping the person and their team productive. If it’s a coffee shop that people shift to, then this is a hint that one of the new options is better than some of the others.

In ABW work environments, the kitchen seems to be a popular place to be. It's an 'inside the office' model of the coffee shop out of the office.

People who support working from a coffee shop as a ‘third place’ might something about what is important to keep the work flowing.

Could I have a skim flat white please?