New research by leading flexible workspace provider Regus has outlined the main obstacles that arise when business people attempt to get work done on the go in public places such as coffee shops.
The Regus research found that the top challenge of working in a public place are concerns around the privacy of conversations and documents (79 per cent), followed by the security of belongings (77 per cent) and noisy customers (66 per cent).
Previously research by Regus suggested that 35 per cent of Aussies spend half their working week outside their main office, with many relying on coffee shops as a key ‘third place’ for work.
“Although working from your nearest café may sound tempting – free Wi-Fi, the buzzing environment and permanent access to your caffeine fix – there are some series issues to consider for management when asking your employees to work on the road,” Jacqueline Lehmann, Country Head of Regus Australia, said.
Regus’ findings also revealed some generational differences when it came to attitudes towards working in cafes.
- Older employees are more likely to deem the café as an unprofessional location for client meetings, with 52 per cent of Baby Boomers reporting this, compared to 45 per cent of Gen X and only 38 per cent of Gen Y.
- Concerns over privacy being an issue in cafés is also more likely with age – with 84 per cent of Baby Boomers reporting this as a problem in contrast to 79 per cent of Gen X and 65 per cent of Gen Y.
“Respondents to this survey made it quite clear that coffee shops are not the most effective place for them to work,” Lehmann said. “With 72 per cent of companies globally saying that flexible working is helping them to be more productive – this study raises concerns for both managers and their employees. Regus has discovered that the key to success is adequately supporting your employees. It’s about far more than giving them a ‘home office’ allowance or implementing a bring your own device scheme. You need to provide people with realistic options and alternatives, such as professional hot-desking spaces near to where they live.”
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