{Study} Form of work of the future: Would you prefer co-working rather than coffee-house working?

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The question of how we will work in the future does not let me go: Recently, I wrote about the Deskwanted Global Coworking Survey, asking the critical question of whether coworking really makes sense - or if you're not as good at it Cafe could work. Now, another study shows that coffee-house-working is apparently only a temporary solution for many. In the long term, there are other options for flexible working.

St. Oberholz, Germany

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Instituts Berufebilder Yourweb.


Study among 26.000 employees

The study, presented by the workplace provider Regus da, is particularly interesting because the data set is so extensive: 26.000 employees were interviewed in 90 countries.

But be careful: the participants come from the Regus Kontaktbank. What is particularly needed are those employees who already have an affinity for permanently flexible office solutions. If 26.000 people who worked at the cafe were questioned, the result might have been different.

Permanently flexible - a contradiction in terms?

But in turn: The Oxymeron permanently-flexible office solutions shows very nicely what I think of such coworking places:

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It increasingly seems to me like a workplace for people who don't really want to decide whether they prefer to work flexibly here or at a fixed location. In any case, coffee house working is a big trend in the USA, as I recently discovered in Austin, Texas.

Coffee-house-working - unproductive?

On the other hand, I have already noted and written that coffee-house working is unproductive - from noise levels, to uncomfortable seats, to people who constantly ask if they want something else.

This is exactly what the study by Regus confirms: The biggest drawbacks of coffee-house working are seen by German employees as being limited privacy and the lack of protection of confidential documents (87 percent).

Older respondents are more critical

Following this, many are disturbed by the noisy environment, which disturbs productive work (76 percent) and business phone calls (75 percent). In addition, 71 percent worry about the safety of their devices and personal belongings, and 65 percent are concerned about the lack of office equipment.

Two-thirds of respondents believe that cafes are totally inappropriate for customer discussions. No surprise: the older the respondents are, the more critical they are: they rate 71 percent of cafés as unsuitable for working. For the younger generation, 60 percent share this view.

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The Swiss are afraid of theft

Also in Switzerland (87 percent) and in Austria (75 percent) the bad data privacy and the limited privacy are among the biggest cracking points.

For Swiss employees, the risk of theft of devices or personal items (77 per cent) and the noisy environment (75 per cent) are two other major disadvantages.

The Austrians lack the office equipment

Even Austrian employees do not want to leave their private property unattended (73 percent). In addition, they lack office facilities such as printers, fax machines and copiers (70 percent).

The conclusion that the publishers of Regus draw from the study - and of course their office space marketing benefits, is therefore shared: Many professionals like cafés as a workplace, the free Internet access and the common coffee-drinking in relaxed, modern atmosphere.

Coffee-house-working only times between

But they find that while there are reports read, eMails write or have short discussions with colleagues, but that productive, safe or professional work is not possible in the long term.

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Or in a nutshell: going to a cafe in between is good, but in the long run a different solution is needed. By the way, that's exactly how I handle it: My office is at home in the apartment, but for collaborations and in between times it can also be the office - when I'm not on the train. How do you see it?

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