Did you know that our modern society is practically built on tea and coffee? It might sound absurd but the fact is that much of the renaissance only happened because we started drinking tea and hanging out in coffee shops. Many of the luxuries that you take for granted today probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for caffeine.
How can this be possible? Well rewind back in time a bit to the Middle Ages (or the ‘Dark Ages’ as they are also known) and you’d find that no one drank the water because it was unsafe. Our solution then was to turn to beer and other forms of alcohol which acted as an antibacterial agent and made the water safe to drink. Unfortunately, it also had the add-on effect of meaning that everyone was slightly drunk all the time which probably is at least partly responsible for the fact that there weren’t that many scientific breakthroughs or cultural advancements during the era.
Then came the humble cup of tea. We realised that another way to kill of bacteria was by boiling the water and so we all started drinking coffee and tea and suddenly instead of hanging out in pubs half-drunk, we started drinking tea and having intellectual conversations in cafés. And society advanced…
So it’s kind of fitting that we now once again find ourselves at our most productive in cafés and that this coffee-culture should be having something of a comeback. Thanks to modern technology giving us the ability to work on the go and to connect to the world wide web anywhere that there’s a WiFi connection, more and more people are starting to move to coffee shops to do their work. If you work from home, then you should in fact try to avoid actually working at home and instead get yourself to the nearest Costa or Starbucks. Cafés you see, are in many ways the perfect place to be creative and productive. Here we will look at why…
Lack of Distractions
The first benefit to working in a coffee shop is the lack of distractions. If you have ever tried to work from home, then no doubt you will have occasionally struggled and found yourself playing computer games or looking at Facebook when you should have been working.
By moving to a coffee shop you will instantly remove many of these distractions and will only have your computer to amuse you. This right away increases the probability that you will work rather than finding distractions.
Even without your game consoles and magazines there are still other distractions available to you online that could prevent you from working even in a café. Fortunately though, the fact that you are working in the coffee shop environment will mean that you won’t really want to be caught playing Sonic or staring at Facebook. The presumption among your fellow coffee drinkers will be that you are there to work, and if you start browsing the web you’ll feel self-conscious in case they see, making you more likely to get back to work.
Background noise has been shown in several studies to help us work and focus, but this does need to be the right kind of background noise in order to have the desired effect. Coffee shops provide just the right level of noise – it’s enough to prevent you from drifting off, but not so much that you end up getting distracted by it. In fact, so useful for encouraging productivity is this chatter, that there’s even a website designed specifically to provide you with fake ‘coffee shop noise’ for working too when you’re not in one. Google ‘coffitivity’ for more.
While you might feel self-conscious sitting alone in a coffee shop at first, you’ll quickly get used to the feeling. In fact, if you do it regularly you may even find yourself starting to associate being in the coffee shop with being productive and thus simply going to a café may be enough to put you in a ‘work zone’ and increase your productivity as a result.
Finally it should go without saying that you will be able to find coffee at most coffee shops. Seeing as coffee is a gentle stimulant that can help to improve your wakefulness, your short term memory and your concentration this is no bad thing at all.
On top of all this, a good coffee shop is also a great place to network and a fantastic place to unwind and relax, so why not see what’s available in your area?