I always understood why people worked better in an office or a library – it’s because of the lack of distractions, right? When you think about it, the design of an office or a library is deliberately boring.
A typically dull coloured space of grey or mahogany, the prickly carpet, boxed off areas for study or work, a space that scolds sounds and phone calls.
If you drain colour and excitement from a room, there’s not much else to do but work, or leave. So, when you think about it, offices and libraries aren’t designed by an uncreative human, but rather, they are a well thought-out plan to guarantee productivity.
Boring rooms breed productivity.
But what about coffee shops? Coffee shops aren’t boring; in fact, they’re quite exciting, and yet we work well in them. They play music loudly, welcome chatter boxes and are typically very colourful and earthy – quite the contrary to libraries and offices.
I often see people reading books or tapping on laptops in coffee shops and wonder, ‘how can you focus with so much noise?’. Could we work as effectively in a library with so much noise? I don’t think so.
What is it about coffee shops that allows us to work productively in a place that is the complete opposite of the buildings designed to make us work productively?
Who knows? Maybe its in the roasted bean air!
– Written by a woman in a very loud coffee shop.