Walk into a cafe in any Australian city (or anywhere in the world) and you will notice that a large proportion of the clientele are workers, and amongst the sound of coffee grinders and steam you will hear the low rumble of mingled conversation. People are becoming increasingly mobile with their work and you wouldn’t be surprised to find a couple of guys in T-shirts & shorts slapping away at a laptop or pouring over their tablets/smart phones as they sip their coffee.
Cafes are quickly becoming ground zero for Australian businesses, there is no better place to get an early start on your working day. A lot can happen over coffee, and there is a culture developing in the business world where meeting in Cafes is the norm. While these casual business rituals let us enjoy good food and coffee while we work, they also do much to ‘level the playing field’ so to speak… The very structure of business is changing; where there used to be a prevalence of hierarchical structures that were plagued by inefficiency when it came to communication, there is now a culture wherein business owners & managers no longer play as strict a role as they did. The idea of adopting a flattened structure is receiving a better reception than ever before and this casual attitude to work is surprisingly fuelling productivity and innovation.
The cafe culture has helped us realise that we are clinging to systems that have floated into obsolescence as the technology we use has changed. Employees are becoming as much creative partners as they are workers and as a result, innovation is thriving. New ideas are being thrown around and in this open environment the most successful ideas can come from the most surprising places.
The role of the cafe in this cultural evolution goes much deeper than just food & coffee, they play an underlying part that influences the way we work. Cafes provide the neutral ground that is often necessary when trying to work with other people, a social space that gets us out of the office and in amongst the people of our work communities. This neutral ground has the ability to disintegrate the kind of distance that can develop in an office environment, and sometimes it’s enough that simply being around other people can bring you back to earth and realise what you set out to do in the first place. And the act of sharing coffee acts as a catalyst to share ideas and build trust.
The way we work is changing. We are more mobile, more creative, and more productive than we have ever been. The very definition of the workplace is changing, it is becoming a term that describes the group of people you work with rather than a physical address you go to.. The lines that define our role within a business are being blurred as our workplaces evolve, and the kind of equality that breeds success is finally being achieved. And Cafes are extending workplaces for better collaboration.