Caffeinating the Office and Vice-Versa: A Look at Coffeehouse Productivity and Connectivity


Coffeehouse A cup of coffee — whichever of its countless derivatives — is part of modern society’s morning ritual. For the 9 to 5 working class, in particular, coffee is the driving force behind productivity. People have achieved many things under the influence of caffeine. Establishments doling out our daily dose of brain juice now took it upon themselves to peddle Internet-driven productivity, and we love them more for it.

A Minor Jolt of Productivity

You probably already know this, but besides the baristas and other coffeehouse staff, barely anyone else works within the Wi-Fi range of our favourite caffeine cantinas. If there were, you would have no way of knowing, since they sit beside the coffee/cream-colored walls, in a corner away from the noisy droves of people pouring in throughout the day. Not to say that we are at a shortage of walls and corners.

The trend of bringing the office to the coffeehouse is rising. A recent poll conducted by an electronics giant and coffeehouse omnipresence reveals that work actually tastes better with coffee and everything packaged with it: Internet, ambient chatter and lounge music. More than half of the respondents said that they use coffee shop Wi-Fi to access work-related documents and email, with the number ‘steadily increasing’ in the UK.

The Brew Bundle

The survey also reveals that 37% of people do not even choose coffee shops based on the quality of the drinks on offer, but rather the availability of free Wi-Fi. Professionals from MyPort tell us that this is nothing especially peculiar, and that coffee shops are well aware of this. They add that currently, printers are the next big thing coffee drinkers are asking for, since only 3% of coffee houses offer them.

Internet access has gone well past the point of being a supposedly limited resource, at least in places where designer coffee is a mass consumption thing. It only makes sense that Wi-Fi comes bundled with something that switches our brains into ‘work mode’.

For many people, each new day is a struggle between productivity and loafing. Coffee paired with work gives new meaning to ‘the daily grind’: a tall cup of latte, busy strangers, foreign breads and communal Internet access—just another day at the office.