The Joy of Working in Coffee Shops

Malcolm Gladwell and others attest to the effectiveness of working in restaurants, coffee shops and bars, and why it works.
April 19, 2011, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Writing in public places has had a long tradition, writes Conor Friedersdorf, but the advent of laptops has made this the era of coffee shop telecommuting. Friedersdorf thinks that is the level of distraction in restaurants that is just right to keep the brain from freezing up:

"Put in a silent room before a blank page, it's almost impossible to write. Neither is it be ideal to work near a television set that keeps drawing one's attention or a room where a child keeps interrupting. In a coffeehouse, its rare for someone to intrude on the space of a patron with an open laptop and a look of concentration. Still, there is just enough conversation and foot traffic in the background that you're forced to semi-consciously tune it out."

The article highlights a handful of other explanations for the phenomenon.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 in The Atlantic
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