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Coworking Space or Coffee Shops: Where to Work on the Go

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If you’re a freelancer, startup owner, or solopreneur in the modern age, you’ll notice that the work landscape is more mobile than ever. Meetings with existing and potential clients, personal endeavours, and other business opportunities abound, forcing you to be on the move. This leads you to look for quiet, remote work-friendly locations such as coffee shops and coworking spaces.

Both options are certainly viable, but today, we’ll be looking at the differences between a cafe and a coworking space to determine which remote work setup better suits your needs. Of course, any coworking space worth its salt would provide free coffee.

Wifi connectivity

Wifi is the most important consideration when choosing a place to work on any day, as it is every professional’s key to staying connected in today’s digital age. Off the bat, a coworking space is a superior choice in terms of wifi.

A coffee shop offers limited access to wifi, literally.

Most cafes will only provide a wifi password if you pay for a drink or pastry, and even if you do manage to access their internet, there are at least ten other people sharing the bandwidth (which is likely a basic subscription) so working from a coffee shop only works when there are only a few customers.

On the other hand, shared desk facilities have wifi connectivity that’s suited explicitly for business operations, making it fast even when more than 20 people are sharing bandwidth. Put, a coworking station beats out the typical coffee shop wifi, and itself already worth the hot desk fee.

Work atmosphere

Many freelancers flock to coffee places because of the generally quiet environment (and also the smell of coffee) which helps increase productivity.

The problem is that this doesn’t last long, as there are certain parts of the day, such as lunch when the establishment will most likely be full of customers.

While cafes are right spots for working when it’s not lunch or dinner time, you’re just better off at an open office area because you’re assured that the atmosphere is entirely professional, and everyone is working.

“But how about the coffee?” you might ask. The best part about coworking areas is that today, most of them have cafe-style coffee machines so you can whip up a quick cup on your own.

Overall, coworking stations beat out coffee places by a huge margin when it comes to the work environment. Sure, cafes obviously have better coffee, but coworking stations provide an atmosphere that’s truly conducive to output, and you don’t have to dish out P150 for an Americano.


When working outside, you should always look for these two amenities: a power outlet and a table/desk.

The latter is readily available at both establishments, but yet again, there’s an issue when it comes to cafes: accommodation. Some cafes are strict when it comes to seating customers, and might even require you to buy several products to stay longer.

Coworking areas don’t have that kind of limitation. Hot desking allows you to work all day long from the location of your choice without worrying about someone taking your seat.

Also Read: The benefits of coworking based on business size

When it comes to power outlets, coworking also beats out cafes. Coffee shops don’t have power outlets just lying around for customers to use, the best they can provide charging stations with a paywall. Coworking desks, on the other hand, come with power outlets so you can charge your devices there.

At the end of the day, coworking spaces and coffee shops both work for freelancers and startup owners and help them achieve a flexible lifestyle and work setup, but the former is the superior choice.

Not only do co-working desks offer everything you need to work productively, but it is also the ideal space for startup teams as studies support that coworking spaces are good for mental health.

This article was first published on e27, on September 13, 2019.