What’s the costa this workplace? $2/hour+free coffee? $2/cup+free seat?

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First published on 9th July 2010, by @paulcarder

Have you sat in a coffee shop recently? Yes, sure you have…but why? Quite possibly you bought a coffee to make yourself feel less guilty about “camping” in Costa, Starbucks or wherever, with your laptop and phone out on the table…working! Did you actually want a coffee? Maybe, but equally likely you just came out of someone’s office where you already had one or two cups…

The question is, what are you paying for here? $2 for a desk for an hour, with a free coffee? Or $2 for a coffee, and a free seat? I know that I have paid both ways…if you’re a ‘glass half full’ person, you’ll think its a cheap coffee for $1 and you pay $1/hour for the “desk”. That’s not bad value, is it?

So how long before coffee companies just admit this is going on, and set up “business class”…? A “frequent drinker” card (no, OK, doesn’t sound like ‘frequent flyer’), which lets you turn left at the end of the coffee bar in to the business area, instead of right into the ‘normal’ cafe? With a chip+pin, to charge the account back to your company account. And you get larger seats, space to plug in your laptop, perhaps waitress service, etc..? Its gonna happen isn’t it…you heard it here first (unless its already happening – in which case you didn’t…!)

So for the corporate occupier, this is another facilities management operating cost, is it not? Another cost of employee mobility, along with the phone and laptop.

But its far lower cost than most corporate workstations. Especially where these are used by mobile employees in a desk-share arrangement, often at a desk-share ratio (DSR) of 2 or 3+. If a workstation in the office costs $10,000 per annum, that is say $40/day…that is too much coffee for the average person!!

Watch this space my friends….you will have a low-cost flexible workplace on every High Street, properly set up for business users, very soon…that won’t costa too much either….

  1. occupiers says

    Restaurants/ coffee shops are starting to redesign to take account of more business users and mobile workers

    I’m still interested in the economics / business model here! and planning? when does a retail outlet become an office?? In the UK, is that subject to change of use? Not yet, because it still looks like a coffee shop. But if, like the article above, they start to look like offices, and be used like offices?

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