Working from Starbucks

20 November 2017

If you ask anyone where I am at any time of the day, the answer tends to be Starbucks (or Bwé, if there are tables). I’m not there for the coffee (I don’t even like coffee); I’m there to work. It’s not a new concept to work at a coffee shop but people tend to ask why I go there so often if I don’t even like coffee, so I felt an explanation was due.

The Problem

Since all of my work is online, I don’t need nor do I really have a specific place to go to work on it. The two obvious options for places to work are home and on campus (perks of being a college student).

At home, I’m easily distracted by roommates, household chores, or simply the allure of the TV. As much as I love my desk and my iMac, unless it’s early in the morning (when I’m most productive) it’s tough to get much done there. On campus, there’s not a lot of space available for un-interrupted work. When I can find some space, it’s not bad but I can still get interrupted by the random encounters with friends and acquaintances. It’s not that I don’t enjoy these, but when I need to get things done (especially programming) I need to be completely focused.

Enter Starbucks

Starbucks is the perfect place for me because there’s always room to work and the WiFi is decently fast. More importantly, at Starbucks, I find myself alone in a sea of strangers. Even though it’s a very public place, since I don’t know anyone there I’m able to open my laptop, put in my headphones, and get to work. At Starbucks, most people who are sitting down are working on something or other so I feel more compelled to do something productive rather than sit on Reddit or watch Netflix. In this rare scenario, fear of judgement and peer pressure are very good things.

As far as paying for a drink almost every day, $150 ($5 x 30 days) is still cheaper than any co-working space I can find. Starbucks isn’t the only place I’m productive — any coffee shop will do. I’ve just found that Starbucks has the most reliable seating availability (and admittedly one of the better rewards programs — I’ve been Starbucks Gold since I was 14).

Do you work from coffeeshops? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter. If you don’t, I encourage you to give it a try for a few days — you might find a productivity increase.