November 18, 2010
20 Reasons Why Creative People Like to Work in Cafes

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Ever since I was old enough to realize there would never be a want ad in a newspaper that described a job I wanted, I've loved working in cafes. I never really thought much about it until a few days ago when a baffled friend of mine asked why I was so into it.

His assumption? That working in a cafe would be a distraction. A distraction? Dude, quite the opposite.

And so, at the risk of trotting out a few half-baked conclusions that my non-cafe-going critics will have a field day trashing, here goes:

20 REASONS WHY YOU LIKE TO WORK IN A CAFE

1. It doesn't feel like work.

2. It's a nice break from the office.

3. You don't have an office.

4. Easy access to caffeine.

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5. If you have a home office, you appreciate the fact that -- in a cafe -- there are no interruptions from your wife/husband/kids/roommate who rarely think they are interrupting you when they stick their head in your office and begin their conversation with something like "I'm not interrupting you, am I?"

6. The act of going from your office to a cafe gets the creative juices flowing.

7. Muffins.

8. You get a whole bunch of unexpected inputs that change your perspective for the moment (i.e. snatches of conversation, songs on the radio, odd posters on the wall).

9. There are no distracting tasks to default to (i.e. cleaning your desk, filing, tossing paper clips over the cubicle wall).

10. The people in your office want you to talk in hushed tones and have a need for you to appear busier than you really are.

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11. Being waited on by the cafe staff puts you in the mode of "things coming to you" without much effort.

12. You focus on your most creative projects.

13. It feels good being part of a community -- even if the community disbands after your third cappuccino.

14. Old patterns are interrupted. New patterns emerge.

15. You like the authenticity of your responses when the geek at the next table, peeking up from his Mac, asks what you're working on.

16. It's like having a focus group at your beck and call. You can ask anyone for their opinion and they'll give it, no strings attached.

17. If you work at home, it's just a matter of time before your spouse asks you to move a piece of furniture or clean the bathroom.

18. It brings out the artist and poet in you.

19. If you go back to the same cafe again and again, you develop trusting relationships with some of the other regulars -- sharing enthusiasm, feedback, and croissants.

20. If anything breaks, someone else has to fix it.

Photo
My favorite Woodstock cafe

Idea Champions

This guy worked in a cave.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at November 18, 2010 11:33 PM

Comments

I love this Mitch. So simple and so true!!

Posted by: Lynn Kindler [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 15, 2010 10:25 PM

I used to do this so often and somewhere along the line I forgot how inspiring working in a cafe is for so many of the reasons you mentioned. I'm inspired once again and will leave my home office (aka my kitchen table - very UNinspiring) tomorrow and get my creative juices flowing again from a cafe.

Posted by: LindsayAdams80 [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 15, 2010 11:34 PM

A nice list. I would add the following:
1-You can offer the person you're having a meeting with a bigger variety of things to drink or munch on compared to what you have in the office.
2-When you want to form a new brand name, cafe-related terms serve as a good start.
3-When you are there regularly you develop relationships with the staff which makes it even more comfortable. In a case I know of, if you happen to move around various branches for the same brand you find the same staff being swapped so you end-up having a big network of cafe-staff connections.
4-You develop this positioning of being the expert on cafes, and so you have something to help others with for better meetings.
5-You always have the room to try something new, being a drink, cafe, place in the cafe, time of the day in the cafe ..etc.
5-For cafes open 24X7, you have an office that's ready for you all the time.

This is what I can remember for Now.

Posted by: Auroralahti.blogspot.com [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 16, 2010 01:16 PM

Love this: "Being waited on by the cafe staff puts you in the mode of 'things coming to you' without much effort."

It's hard for me to imagine how life on Earth existed before wifi and lattes. :)

Posted by: Sue_Mitchell [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2010 03:15 PM

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