It comes as no surprise to a lot of people that new wireless technology has had a dramatic effect on how people work. What isn’t so clear is how wireless technology will impact coffee sales, coffee shops and the emergence of more alternative work spaces.

As more and more of us go wireless and are mobile, the demand for places either outside of our home offices or traditional offices has increased. What is now a value-added feature of many coffee shops, wi-fi will become commonplace in large urban cities as it already has done in London, England. In 2003, Estates Gazette reported that there were over 100 wi-fi hotspots all over the city.

As more and more people flock to coffee shops to either seek out a place to get some serious work done, or to collaborate, or to escape the loneliness of the home office, savvy coffee shop owners will want to keep up with their competition by making wi-fi available. But coffee shops may have considerable competition in drawing the java commuter dollar because of places like WorkSpace in Vancouver (Gastown) where you can rent office space by the hour, day or month and they offer not only coffee but a more formal space to conduct your business and meet with other like-minded mobile workers. Other places are starting to get in on the act too. Hotels, pubs, and malls in London England are wiring up by installing wireless capabilities (Estates Gazette 2003).

Because java commuting is on the rise, there is potential to see that $5 latte become less expensive. But save your breathe . . . to cool your coffee.

Q: What do you feel is the biggest benefit about working from a coffee shop or café?

Thanks for dropping by and come again soon for another virtual cup and conversation!

Lori Thiessen

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