The chances are if you are running your own business, you regularly have business meetings or at least meet business contacts in coffee shops. Even if you have an office, it is often more convenient and being less formal, more friendly.

Amazingly, these sort of meetings are also very fruitful – they must be or we wouldn’t all keep holding them there. Now US academics have come up with some reasons as to why they are successful and in fact why we should spend more time in coffee shops too, to help our businesses.

The thing with coffee shops is that however busy or not busy they are, they are never quiet and researchers at the University of British Columbia are now saying that makes us more creative than being in a more sterile, less dynamic environment. Apparently, a little noise can go a long way towards getting you better ideas.

The study of over 300 participants comes close behnind other research that suggests that a that a flexible schedule has a positive effective on the health, happiness and productivity of employees – something that is sweet music to the ears of employers.

Participants showed better creative responses when playing word association games in an environment with the simialr noise level you would expect in a coffee shop, when compared to silent and loud and very loud environments. The researches describe this as “A moderate distraction, which induces processing difficulty, enhances creativity by prompting abstract thinking.”

While silent spaces tend to be grat for full concentration, when creativity is required, some stimulus helps get the creative juices flowing – althought his can easily be drowned out by too much noise too.

This could also explain why open-plan offices are often more productive than individual spaces and why many one-man businesses – especially creatives – choose co-working shared office space instead of working alone – whether they knew about the impact or not.


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