When the coffee shop becomes your office

In the contemporary balance of work-life-study for the independent worker/freelancer, where work is primarily a solitary endeavour, the place in which you spend executing your craft becomes of the utmost importance.

Feeling disconnected or alienated is common and avoiding such feelings is paramount. Artists and writers have long known of this. In the new post-industrial world of technology and telecommuting more and more workers are discovering the difficulties that go along with a life of "working-from-home", on a flexible and self-directed schedule.

My home office consists of a fully renovated attic as my primary office. The kitchen table ranks number two. The local university library is fast becoming my go-to location to work from as it seems to provide a quiet location that is conducive to work. Minimal distractions is a good thing.

What about social interaction?

It's easy to get caught up in work, to become a hermit of sorts. Though I have found refuge in the local coffee shop. My main source of intellectual stimulation. Artists, writers, designers, thinkers, retired professors, and a host of other characters, curmudgeons, and crackpots to shoot-the-shit with.

This not only gives me some much needed human social interaction, in-person, live and unedited, it also provides for a source of inspiration and creative stimulus.

Here are just a few of the contemporaries who call the coffee shops of Sackville, New Brunswick their unofficial offices:

Virgil Hammock : professor emeritus of fine arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.

Harold Jarche : thinker, blogger, and “a keen subversive of the last century’s management and education models”.

Chris MacKay : creative technology and web guru of Tantramar Interactive: "Designing, producing & hosting websites in Atlantic Canada since 1997".

Graham McTavish Watt : the official town curmudgeon and rabble rouser.

And a score of others who frequent "The Duck" for their daily caffeine fix.

1 comment on 'When the coffee shop becomes your office'

  • Christopher Mackay

    There's no question that working from home can sometimes result in the walls closing in on you (or the pets vying for your attention), and the need for social interaction is huge. I can't believe I never thought of the campus library as a potential remote office; then again, even as an alumnus, I can't imagine it's easy to get access to wi-fi. There's a great podcast that discusses a lot these same topics, with a focus on freelance workers: Home Work, with Aaron Mahnke and Dave Caolo, at http://www.70decibels.com/homework/

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