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7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop Is Extremely Distracting

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Taylor Sade

Taylor Sade is a reporter, humorist, and digital-media guru. Since graduating college, he's worked as a freelancer for Distractify, CollegeHumor, Uproxx, and ThoughtCatalog — giving him a unique perspective on the culture of remote employment.

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Working from a coffee shop is cool, right? RIGHT? Everybody does it. That’s what millennials do. That’s what the work environment is like these days. Just find a Wi-Fi signal and get after it. No need to worry about the various distractions that may come along with your choice of “office” for the day. Well, you can be the judge of that.

1. Free Wi-Fi

It seems cool because what better way to get paid than to hang out in public? The price of you earning a paycheck is included in the coffee (or free water if you’re a bandit). Getting free WiFi seems like an undeniable reason to get out of the house or office to go and do some work at your local caffeine corral. (Why do the baristas seem so mad when you ask for the password?)

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because connections may vary. You may spend a large portion of your time there waiting for download speeds or reconnecting to the Wi-Fi signal. You have to think there’s a plethora of people there also connected to this signal, and that’s going to slow things down at certain coffee shops. Depending what the nature of your work is, this can be a big problem.

2. There’s coffee

It seems cool because coffee is what most people need to get their day started so they can in fact work. Well, working from a coffee shop seamlessly conjoins those two needs in a person’s career livelihood.

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because of the noise that comes along with it. The shooting of espresso. The churning of various barista mechanisms. How do you expect to get anything done in this loud environment? Furthermore …

3. There’s usually music

It seems cool because who doesn’t enjoy listening to music? Coffee shop usually have pretty chill tunes, so it’s no big deal, right? Wrong … 

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because, again, the noise factor that could be involved. What if it turns out you hate the music or song? You can’t skip it. You’re not in control. You’re a prisoner to the music airwaves of the environment, and now instead of working, you’re just praying the song will end. If you try to drown it out with your own music blasting through your headphones, your head is just going to be ringing. And on top of the potential caffeine rush, you’re going to feel like you need to go to the hospital rather than finish what you’re doing.

4. There are other workers just like you

It seems cool because you may think to yourself: how neat it is that all these people are from varying fields of expertise and have congregated here for caffeine and conference calls. The coffee shop worker is a modern anomaly, and you’ve been swept up in it.

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because you can start to get curious about what they have going on. When the music and loud baristas start to disrupt your work flow, your mind wanders and thus so do your eyes. Some screen peeking leads to lost minutes of your day with just the vague curiosity of what the other patrons have going on. You may even begin to wonder if they’re doing the same thing to you. Next thing you know, you’re protecting your screen and pretending to be productive just to impress strangers rather than actually being a working member of society.

5. Similarly, there’s often work “team” meetings going on around you

It seems cool because this is the digital age. There may be a large group meeting or just one person on a video chat. It’s so cool to see the virtual office in motion right before your eyes. You do it every day potentially, but seeing someone else in that same habitat working is intriguing. Likewise, if it’s a group of people, it can be refreshing to see people getting out of the office and finding a more inviting and creative place to brainstorm and flesh out new ideas.

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because we’re human. It’s easy to start eavesdropping on either of the above situations. You’re not necessarily being nosy. It’s just as easy to let your mind wander off when the abovementioned music becomes a problem as it is to let somebody or an entire group’s conversation become the point of interest in your head. Before you know it, you may find yourself blankly staring off into space listening to what they’ve got going on rather than focusing on your own tasks at hand.

6. College Kids

It seems cool because you’re among a younger demographic. They’re gathered around talking about music and movies they like while discussing professors they may or may not loathe. You look around and it reminds you were you were back in that time. The endless possibilities that lie ahead of you. Maybe they look at you and see their future.

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because they’re loud …You wish you were just chilling and drinking a slow drip with your friends. Instead you’re working your life away. But remember, up until now, you haven’t gotten much done.

7. The overall vibe of working in a coffee shop

It seems cool because coffee shops are just cool. All the factors above are what drove you here. The chill aura. The never-ending supply of coffee. The free Wi-Fi. It’s somewhat of a staple in today’s society for the creative minds to flock to coffee shops when they do their work. It just feels right, so going there for a day of successful remote work is what you’ll do.

7 Reasons Working From a Coffee Shop is Extremely Distracting by TINYpulse
SOURCE: giphy.com

It’s mostly distracting because everybody has the same idea as you. It’s crowded. It’s busy. And not everyone is sticking around for an entire day of work. The capacity is constantly fluctuating, and that’s just another thing that will take your eyes off your work. People walking in and out of the front door on a nearly revolving basis. If you’re like me, every time somebody walks near you, you’ll look up. Not even to be weird, but just because, well, I don’t know why. The constant foot traffic deters from the cool vibe and distracts you from what you came here to do.

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Taylor Sade

Taylor Sade is a reporter, humorist, and digital-media guru. Since graduating college, he's worked as a freelancer for Distractify, CollegeHumor, Uproxx, and ThoughtCatalog — giving him a unique perspective on the culture of remote employment.

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