With people wanting more freedom, autonomy and flexi hours at work, many are flocking to alternative workspaces throughout their 9-5. It’s not just the allure of delicious smelling coffee and freshly baked croissants bringing the workers to coffee shops though. With space to think, Wi-Fi and comfy seats, we chatted with Richard Frazier, Head of Retail, from Workshop Coffee on the appeal of coffee bars as workspaces.
Why are coffee shops so appealing to entrepreneurs and freelancers?
“At a broader level, it’s no doubt for their flexibility. To be able to set-up for an extended period of time and have everything they need close at-hand means they’re able to focus on what needs doing.
"For us, it’s not necessarily something we actively endorse or promote. Our cafe and coffee bars are about encouraging interactions and conversations with our baristas and, where we can, amongst our guests. A somewhat paradoxical byproduct of that kind of focus is that the spaces lend themselves incredibly well to finding a corner to have a meeting, conversation or interview, or get through some focused work.”
How does Workshop Coffee appeal directly to businesses, and what do you do that differentiates yourself?
"Partially through the considered design of our stores and partially by not being limited by them. Whenever we begin designing a new coffee bar, we’re incredibly mindful of the context we’re going to be operating in and that influences the aesthetic and the set-up final spaces we create enormously. We aim to complement the areas we’re serving each day, but also want to provide a space that’s different enough to offer a bit of respite, a haven or a change of scenery — whether that’s for a five-minute break or for an hour-long meeting.
"But our stores are just one facet of what we do. Sourcing and roasting the coffee we brew means we’re also able to offer it to our customers at home or at work. Our online shop and subscription service extend our product beyond our physical locations, allowing people to enjoy great coffee wherever they want or need it most. Things like our Home Brewing and Espresso + Milk Masterclasses are also there for those that want to learn more about the tips and tricks that can be enlisted to ensure consistently delicious coffee."
What are independent coffee shops doing that attract business networking?
"As much as anything else, I think it’s providing a different space. Coffee shops, cafes and coffee bars aren’t right for every business eventuality, but having somewhere that allows for a greater freedom to talk openly and break routine no doubt has the ability to create wholly different results to conversations across a large table in a quiet room. The ability to do that and enjoy fantastic coffee in a hospitable environment is certainly appealing."
Do you think coffee shops are becoming the new workplace office?
"Overall, I don’t think so. They undoubtedly have their place in the working day, but I’d still say that there’s a time and a place — there are simply certain parts of running a business that require a slightly more formal setting."
Workshop Coffee are dedicated to sourcing, roasting and serving the best coffee possible. With four London locations, visit www.workshopcoffee.com for more info on how to shop, as well as subscribe and attend masterclasses.
Where do you find best for getting your work done? Let us know with a comment below!