The wealth of Wi-Fi hot spots is inspiring entrepreneurs to turn high street coffee shops into mobile business hubs
New research from Direct Line for Business has revealed that coffee shops are full of BEANS – Business Entrepreneurs and New Start-ups.
The study found that more than a quarter (27%) of UK small business owners work from coffee shops rather than their usual office space.
When asked why they prefer to work outside of the home or office flexibility, work life balance, and increased productivity were cited as the most popular reasons. The appeal of free Wi-Fi, electricity, warmth and a sociable environment is luring many small business owners, to swap their lonely offices and home workspaces for coffee and conversation.
Many entrepreneurs don’t have their own premises so take advantage of space and free connectivity elsewhere. Small business owners and operators also work from the comfort of restaurants (14%) and bars (11%) and fresh air lovers are even working outside in parks (8%).
The research also shows that SME owners and operators have to manage their businesses on the go, with 19% working while waiting for flights at airports and 18% working while on public transport.
According to the research, more than a third of small business owners (35%) believe the greatest benefit of remote working is the flexibility of being able to operate from multiple locations, such as working on the way to and from meetings. Other advantages include a better work life balance (32%), greater productivity (17%) and reduced operational and transport costs (16%).
When it came to the barriers of remote working, limited Wi-Fi access came out on top, affecting 35%of small business owners on the move. This was followed by greater distractions (24%), struggling to find a power source (23%) and missing interaction with office colleagues (14%). Interestingly, one in 11 (9%) worry that their colleagues or clients may think less of them if they aren’t office bound.
Jane Guaschi, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “Many small business owners aspire to work in creative and engaging work spaces and the wealth of Wi-Fi hot spots now available allows them to turn a high street coffee shop into a mobile business hub.
“The research shows there are clear benefits of working remotely, greater flexibility and a better work life balance are some of the advantages of mobile working, which is why more and more small businesses are embracing it to help drive productivity and reduce operational overheads.”
Remote working is most popular amongst businesses with 10 or more employees (74%), compared to micro companies (60%) and sole traders (43%).