Recently, I spent the day at a local restaurant – working. And remarkably I was not alone. Oh, lots of people came in and out through out the day to eat of course. But many more hung out with their laptops, alone or in groups, and some even conducted business meetings, via cell phone or face to face. Some stayed for a couple of hours and a few others, like I did, stayed for the whole day.
I had breakfast, a couple of refills on my coffee, lunch and a mid-afternoon snack. All in all, not a bad deal for the restaurant. And the free WiFi, comfy armchairs, ubiquitous Muzak, and reassuring buzz of nearby conversation made for a congenial, if public, workspace for me. Never mind that I have a perfectly convenient and well-equipped study at home and access to one of the stateliest libraries and a host of calm, quiet work spaces on campus – as I remarked to the server, sometimes it just feels more productive to be near people. We chatted briefly and both of us commented on the number of customers who came in to work.