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Coffee shops vs coworking spaces

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With almost 26,000 coffee shops in the UK, it’s tempting for remote workers to join the latte-and-laptop crowd. But is mixing business and café culture such a good idea? Let’s take a good look at coffee shops vs coworking spaces…

In September 2023, a Broadband Genie survey revealed that 23% of Brits work remotely from a coffee shop at least once a week. With their free Wi-Fi and convenience, cafes may seem the ideal solution to the problems remote workers face when working from home – but they are not without their disadvantages.

There is an alternative. Have you considered how a coworking space compares?

Here’s five key differences for remote workers to know about coffee shops vs coworking spaces

1. Cost:

Coffee shop working is costlier than you might think. A flat white in London costs around £3.45 a cup. A coffee, a sandwich or a tempting cake here and there will all start to add up quickly, and it’s hard to keep track of expenditure.

In a co-working space these costs are more predictable. You can drop into one of our London spaces for around £12 per day with a membership. It’s about £7 per day in our regional offices. That includes unlimited drinks – without the queuing!

2. Noise:

Coffee shops are noisy with make-do work settings. There’s a great buzz in a coffee shop but that can change quickly as other people around you come and go. The group of friends catching up, the parent and baby group settling in for their weekly catch up and the constant noise from the coffee machine and the frother, can easily disrupt a phone call or a train of thought.

Coworking spaces still have a great buzz, but it’s the right buzz. You’re surrounded by like-minded professionals all there to get their job done. Plus, there’s a choice of spaces available if you do need to do somewhere for quiet working or to take a phone call away from others.

3. Your ‘desk’ set-up:

A coffee shop is not designed with work in mind. The choice of where you work in a coffee shop is dependent on what’s available. We’ve all sat at the wobbly table with the nearest power point staring at us from the far wall. Where do you take a private call? What if someone joins you for an impromptu meeting?

A coworking space can beat any coffee shop on comfort and choice of work settings. That’s because they are specifically designed with how we work in mind. Tables, booths, sofas, meeting rooms and phone booths – whether you need to concentrate, collaborate or hold a meeting, the option is there. And you’ll never be far from a power point!

4. Privacy and security:

Coffee shop working comes with many challenges around data security. From prying eyes and eavesdropping, to the risk of theft and, even more concerning, a cyber-attack through the use of unsecure Wi-Fi. Also, who can you trust to watch your stuff when you need a comfort break?

A coworking space has this covered. There’s a vigilant team onsite at all of our coworking spaces and they keep tabs on who’s coming in and out of the workspace. When it comes to the IT, there’s fast, secure Wi-Fi and VPN for network security. We also provide lockers in many of our buildings to hold your belongings if you need to step away for a lunch or a meeting offsite.

5. Options for meetings:

Coffee shops offer no dedicated meeting space. A coffee shop is great to catch up with friends but has its limitations when you need to work with others, share ideas or sell your services. Sometimes you need to move into a private room to allow more space to get together, use a large screen, connect virtually with others, scribble ideas on a board or simply get some privacy.

Meetings in coworking spaces are easy. There’s sofas, large tables and booths if you just need a space to get together and catch up. If you need something more formal, then booking a meeting room is a cinch and all done through an easy to use website. You simply select the location, room size and timeslot and it’s yours.

We also have a team on hand at each coworking space. They’ll warmly welcome your visitors and make sure your meeting runs smoothly. They’ll even help you with the technology and organising any catering too.

These are just five examples, but there’s plenty more reasons why coworking spaces provide a better experience to a coffee shop – open 24/7, great networking opportunities and a community feel, and just a far more productive working environment in general.

Come and see for yourself and put coffee shops vs coworking spaces to test

Landmark Space has 22 coworking spaces (and growing!) across the UK – 6 of these are in great locations in central London. Check out our coworking page for all our sites and details of our rates for day passes and flexible memberships.