Deciding between working out of a cafe or a coworking space? We break down the pros and cons of both.
One of the best things about being a digital nomad is the flexibility of working anywhere with wifi and plugs. Give us these two things (and maybe a nice cup of coffee) and we’re all set to work. Since not all places with wifi are created equally, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of working out of a cafe versus a coworking space.
A major plus of working out of a coworking space is the number of digital nomads/entrepreneurs you’ll meet. Some coworking spaces are just simply paid access to infrastructure, but the best coworking spaces connect you with the other people in the community.
Unlike a coworking space, you can’t exactly turn to your neighbor to ask him or her for advice or even just to chat.
The wifi is usually more stable as compared to a cafe, and power plugs are plentiful and always guaranteed. Plus there’s no pressure to buy coffee since you’ve already paid for your membership (which almost always includes free coffee).
Some cafes are better for working than others. Generally, cafes aren’t always the best in terms of infrastructure as compared to a coworking space. Tables and seating aren’t usually ergonomic or comfortable. Wifi can be unstable depending on the number of people using the wifi and power plugs can be hard to come by. And there’s that guilty feeling that the barista is staring you down, so you feel like you have to buy ANOTHER cup of coffee even though you’re already over-caffeinated.
Depending on the coworking space, you’re likely to have a storage place for you to lock up your valuables when you need to walk away from your desk to use the bathroom.
You’ll have to pack up all your stuff just to go use the bathroom. You also need to be wary of using public Wi-Fi and the inherent dangers of digital theft.
This is subjective - some find that background conversations and activities in a café or restaurant help stimulate their brains and enhance concentration. Being surrounded by the din of a busy coffee shop paradoxically forces you to focus on one thing— ideally, your work— to tune out conversations floating in from the next table, the barista steaming the milk, and the whirring of coffee grinders.
Coworking spaces are also not immune to the distraction that comes with the free flow of people working around you.
If you get easily distracted, coworking might not always be good. Make sure the coworking environment has quiet spaces you can escape to.
Typically a few times more expensive than working out of a cafe.
Spending $5 on a drink or snack every time you visit is still far cheaper than being at a coworking space. If you are planning on working in that cafe for a couple of hours or for the whole day, make a purchase at least once an hour - that’s just proper etiquette.
Work out of a coworking space if you are financially able to, but don’t dismiss a cafe with great wifi and available plugs. To find coworking spaces and work-friendly cafes in each city, visit www.womendigitalnomads.com.