In South Africa, security of belongings, privacy of documents and noisy customers are the top three turnoffs for people working in coffee shops, according to a new survey from Regus among 26 000 businesses in over 90 countries.
The business pundit’s new darling is “coffee shop working”, with free WiFi, a “buzzing” environment, and permanent access to coffee.
But is the coffee shop really an ideal place to work from?  Regus put the question to business people across the world to find out.
The answer is a resounding “no”. Users all recognise that it’s great to be able to drop in to a coffee shop when they are out and about and get some work done, send a few e-mails, or have a quick catch up with a colleague.
However, respondents to this survey made it quite clear that coffee shops cannot be the norm, as they are not productive, secure or professional.
Among the list of draw-backs for coffee shop working are loud fellow-customers disturbing telephone calls and (of course) lack of printers, scanners or regular office equipment.
Coffee shops are also seen as a no-no for client meetings.
Key findings from the survey include:
* For South African workers, the three biggest coffee shop drawbacks are having to look after belongings at all times (82%), privacy of documents and conversations (77%) and noisy customers disturbing their productivity (72%);
* 67% say that background chatter also disrupts their telephone calls and 64% think a lack of access to office equipment is a disadvantage;
* Over half (52%) think coffee shops are a no-go area for client meetings; and
* Baby boomers (50%) are more likely to struggle with concentration in a coffee shop than Gen-Y (36%).