A recent Regus report states that remote employees in Canada can only work in coffee shops for 20 minutes before productivity drops, attacking the traditional startup narrative of the local java hut as the engine of entrepreneurial innovation.
Of course, for many fledgling startups, the real work doesn’t happen in the cafe, but in a far less auspicious location: their parents’ basement. As Upverter’s Zak Homuth shared at a recent TechTO talk, before being accepted into the Y Combinator accelerator, the Upverter team first relocated to Homuth’s parents’ house in the country. “Steve got the guest room, I slept on the couch, we survived,” he said.
“Steve got the guest room, I slept on the couch, we survived.”
– Zak Homuth
Recently, more options have emerged for a new generation of Canadian small businesses and entrepreneurs, such as co-working spaces like WeWork and by-the-hour workspaces like Breather. Breather Toronto GM Ashleigh Berger told BetaKit that the increase in options is being caused by smaller teams trying to stay agile and cost effective.
“Firms are getting smaller, people are more often working remotely, and the average cost of office space is going up,” Berger said. “This all points to people using resources more effectively, both desks and meeting rooms. At Breather, we focus on great rooms, whether to meet, work, or rest. It’s a key part of what we think will be the future of work.”
For the modern agile business, cultural fit is as important as facilities and resources. Speaking to BetaKit about its recent Montreal co-working launch, WeWork’s Heather McCuen explained how activities can be as important as great WiFi.
“We program a lot of events and that’s how we cultivate community at that level,” McCuen said. “It becomes about listening and how we can create value. If our members tell us they want a lunch and learn, health and wellness, yoga, or happy hour we can program those.”
Of course, the movement towards new workspaces isn’t just limited to traditional small businesses. Developer bootcamp Lighthouse Labs is exploring the use of co-working spaces just for small development teams, as well as remote classroom learning.
“One of the most exciting things about technology is how people can now work and learn from anywhere,” said Jeremy Shaki, Lighthouse Labs co-founder. “At devhub and Lighthouse Labs, students, mentors and developers build together whether they’re in the same room or 1,000 km away.”
What are the best places for the next generation of small business to get work done? What are the tools they need and the challenges they face? In this #DellSMBChat Twitter Chat, BetaKit and Dell explore the benefits of remote, co-working, and yes, coffee shops for productivity.
#DellSMBChat: The Way We Work
Thursday, March 10th, 12:30PM-1:30PM EST
Special Guest Participants: