I ran across a really interesting post in Medium titled What are People Working on in Coffee Shops?
The title is a bit misleading.
It's really about what people are working on in a single coffee shop in Venice Beach, a hip and trendy L.A. beach community just north of Santa Monica.
The article's authors briefly interviewed everyone who working in the Deus Ex Machina coffee shop (pictured above) on a Tuesday at 12:30 PM.
The results of their informal survey are not surprising - most everyone was doing some sort of job related work.
But even though it's just one space, I think the reasons given for working at a coffee shop are representative:
I work better around people.
I feel inspired around other people.
I like coming here because it’s close to home and I’m inspired by being around people.
I love the coffee and the environment here.
I try not to work at home because of all the potential distractions.
Regular readers have no doubt already jumped to the same conclusion I did - these folks would probably love coworking spaces.
Even more interesting is the reaction of the article's authors. Key quote:
Something interesting happened that we weren’t expecting.
As I mentioned earlier, our brains were pleading with us not to talk to anyone in the coffee shop.
As soon as we’d finished though, the both of us were BEAMING.
It felt absolutely amazing to connect with all these people who were previously part of the background. We had small conversations, shared many, smiles and laughs, and left the coffee shop overflowing with energy and raw joy.
We kept telling each other:
That was amazing! I love people! This changes everything! I can’t wait to say hi next time I go back!
In other words, the authors found out that community is good.
I'm not suggesting everyone working coffee shops will join a coworking space.
But if only a very small percentage of folks working coffee shops figure out how beneficial community is, the coworking industry will continue its rapid growth. And I think a small percentage will.