Mobile working: Striking a balance between the coffee shop and the office

Entrepreneurs have the luxury of working from wherever they like, but is this always a blessing, or can not having access to a proper office sometimes be a curse?

According to research carried out by Direct Line for Business, more than one-quarter (27 per cent) of entrepreneurs like to work from coffee shops on a regular basis, while 14 per cent often set up a mobile office in a restaurant.

Other unconventional workspaces have included bars (used by 11 per cent of respondents) and parks (eight per cent).

Some even like to take the concept of mobile working literally and work on public transport (18 per cent), while 19 per cent of business owners admit to checking emails or taking calls in the airport before a flight.

Over one-third (35 per cent) of entrepreneurs said they liked the flexibility that this style of working provided them with, 32 per cent reported it helped them to achieve a better work-life balance and 17 per cent revealed that it motivated them to be more productive.

Jane Guaschi, business manager at Direct Line for Business, commented: “Many small business owners aspire to work in creative and engaging workspaces and the wealth of WiFi hotspots now available allows them to turn a high street coffee shop into a mobile business hub.

“The research shows there are clear benefits to working remotely; greater flexibility and a better work-life balance are some of the advantages of mobile working, which is why more and more small businesses are embracing it to help drive productivity.”

However, the survey results also highlight some of the downsides to working from a different location every day, which include unreliable WiFi connections – a bugbear for more than one-third (35 per cent) of respondents.

Meanwhile, 24 per cent found places such as coffee shops to often be full of distractions, while 23 per cent struggled with limited plug sockets for their laptop chargers. Additionally, 11 per cent of respondents said they were worried clients may think they were unprofessional due to not having an office base.

These are all reasons why entrepreneurs who like to work from different places should think about renting out office space from time to time.

Some 14 per cent of those surveyed said working alone from different locations meant they missed out on interaction with their colleagues or employees, so setting up shop in a serviced office can help to increase collaboration when needed and allow everyone to check in with each other.

A temporary office location can also provide a professional image, reliable WiFi, fewer distractions and take away the need to fight over plug sockets with fellow mobile workers. This could be particularly useful when working on a particularly big project or to a tight deadline when a noisy coffee shop simply won’t do but flexibility is still required.


Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/monkeybusinessimages


Back to Blogs