Should You Work In A Coffee Shop?

Regus investigates new places remote workers are getting work done

Coffee shops are bustling with activity, but are they the best place to conduct business? Flexible workspace provider, Regus, recently investigated the perils of the remote worker, who is often found working in spaces other than a traditional office. Globally, the result shows that on-the-go workers don’t mind checking emails in a coffee shop, but they can only work in this environment for a maximum of 20 minutes. The research surveyed 44,000 survey respondents from more than 100 countries, including 1,869 Canadian professionals.

In Canada, the results found that 57 per cent agree that coffee shops are fine for checking email but not responding to email. Nearly one-half (48%) are happy to tap out a short reply over coffee before finding a more suitable working environment for more considered responses. In addition to cafes, 46 per cent of professionals will check emails while commuting on public transit, although only one-quarter will send out a quick response while on the go.

Most would agree that busy cafés and bustling trains are poor environments for intensive work such as checking and approving documents. In fact, fewer than one-in-ten say they will carry out core work duties or make conference calls while in a coffee shop. Privacy is a key concern, with workers avoiding sensitive calls and emails on-the-go because being away from the office in a non-professional environment is simply not suitable for work tasks that require time or sensitivity.

Other Spaces Conducive for Work:

  • The car is considered an acceptable location to make phone calls (44%) but not for conference calls (17%), likely due to the need for full attention required during conference calls
  • On the other hand, 3 in 10 respondents are happy to carry out even their core work tasks in business lounges as these environments provide the necessary privacy and are quiet
  • A fifth also comfortably carry out conference calls (21%) from business lounges, which are also popular for short emails (56%) and document checking (33%).

“With Wi-Fi available nearly everywhere, it’s convenient to stop at a coffee shop and skim through emails on a smartphone,” said Wayne Berger, VP of Regus Canada. “While a coffee shop may serve its purpose for a quick burst of caffeine while staying connected, it simply isn’t the best place to get work done, other than sending quick email responses.”

Regus offers business lounges in 90 centres coast-to-coast in Canada that serve as a professional alternative to coffee shops. Visit to learn more.


About Regus

Regus is the world’s largest provider of workspace, with customers including some of the most successful, entrepreneurs, individuals and multi-million dollar corporations.

Our network of 2,600 locations in 106 countries encompasses 43 million square feet of the world’s leading locations, offering convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful as they grow around the world.

The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is open wherever our 2.1 million members need support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, universities, motorway service stations and even community centres. With brands including Regus, Regus Express, Signature Group, Open Office, Spaces and Kora within our group, there is something for every business need, from traditional offices to vibrant creative environments that foster creative thinking and collaboration.

Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: