If you’re starting a business or have on started and are currently lacking an office, here is one piece of advice; avoid Starbucks as your office.
Sure, there are always people in Starbucks busily pecking away at their laptops while sipping on their overly-complex vanilla upside down macchiato with soy and a splash of espresso. They certainly look productive and on some occasions, probably are. While it is fine to sit down and check email while enjoying your hot beverage, this should not be your replacement for a real office.
For your sake, and the sake of the baristas, I implore you not to make Starbucks your 9am - 5pm office.
“White Noise” is only good for solo work.
You have probably seen studies or read a handful of articles claiming that white noise can actually make you a more productive person. It can even help with creative cognition. A round of applause for you as this is actually true. Before you gallop away on your high horse, there are some caveats to this.
The first caveat is that the quality of the white noise matters. I won’t get into any complex science mainly because that is not the point of this article. The point is that not all ambient noises will make you more productive. Additionally, you want the quality of that ambient noise to be either real or extremely high in quality if it is fabricated or recorded.
If you are sitting in a Starbucks or a similar local coffee shop, you are getting quality white noise. However, you are not guaranteed that this white noise remains as just white noise. A large, rowdy group of over-caffeinated teens or a mom getting her java fix whilst caring for noisy toddlers can easily break your ambient spell. The white noise just turns into noise.
If you are working on a proposal or report, the white noise is probably a welcome tune. However, it is not good for your everyday office because you will, sooner or later, need to communicate with the outside world. Cell services are notable for their choppy service when you are on your most crucial calls. So whether you are negotiating with a vendor or trying to hone in on what is being said in a conference call, you can expect to have the worst experience in a coffee shop.
If you absolutely “need” to have that coffee shop ambiance to get your work done, there is an app for that.
A cup of Joe does not close a deal.
You know the image well. You are in search for some stock images that show communication, relationships, and business. There it is. Two smiling business professionals reaching across a coffee shop table shaking hands with two cups of steaming coffee sitting next to them.
Unfortunately, the real world does not typically work like that. It is highly unlikely that you will be closing deals with Fortune 500 executives at a coffee shop table. There is way too much at stake to have an impromptu meeting at Starbucks.
Closing a deal over a cup of coffee is a nice sentiment, albeit unrealistic. You will likely be negotiating any sort of deal with a partner or potential client from a conference room filled with assistants and attorneys. Okay, there will probably be some coffee there too.
Your own office will serve as legitimacy.
One of the main benefits that comes with having your own office, is the legitimacy factor that it provides. There is no shame in working out of a home office or garage. However, being able to invite clients over to your actual office helps bring a certain degree of legitimacy to your operations.
Potential clients can see that you are established. The office gives off the notion that you are in fact successful and mean business. Working solely from a home office can potentially give off the impression that this is a side business or that you are not fully committed to your company, even if it is completely the opposite.
There are a lot of office options in the area.
Finally, you should avoid Starbucks simply because you live in the Big Apple and their are a lot of office options out there. More specifically, Chelsea has a sea of office buildings and amenities that you and your employees can benefit from.
Every neighborhood in the Chelsea area has something unique to offer whether you are looking in West Village, Flatiron, Nomad, or Union Square. You can opt for a traditional office building or look for unique opportunities that offer private offices and suites with shared conference rooms.
With so much real estate, you cannot use the excuse that there was nothing available. Manhattan is bursting at the seams with office spaces that are not coffee shops. The new year is the perfect time to get yourself into an actual office.
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.