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Bedouins unwelcome-this is a hint we need a break from work

by Tris Hussey on May 8th, 2007

I got this from the Coworking mailing list I joined recently:

Starbucks vision behind the Third Place was to create a space between the home and the office which offered the sort of environment that had always been cherished in the best coffee houses through the years - a place to meet, to read, to debate and discuss, to be on your own. As Starbucks built their chain, independent cafes popped up to offer alternative takes on basically the same principles. (Watch this video from the PSFK Conference where George Murphy discusses the development of the Third Place concept).

Around the world we all started hanging more in cafes. But maybe that’s not going to last. Have you tried to sit in a cafe recently? You can’t there are hardly any seats and, certainly, no table space left!

The rise of the Bedouin Worker fueled by easy WiFi could be changing our view on the Third Place. In fact, they could be killing what we see as the Third Place and turning the cafe back to the Second Place. Go to a Starbucks or another cafe and its full of the creative class tapping away on their laptops. The only discussion being made seems to be on the phone with people in other cafes.
Source: Is The Bedouin Worker Killing The Third Place? - PSFK Trends & Ideas - Creative Class, End Of In-Between, Food and Drink, Lifestyle, Retail, Space As Scarcity, WiLife, Worklife,

It appears that the attempt to get away has been co-opted by our (and probably our boss’) desire to stay connected (and work where the coffee flows freely).  While the point of the article is the number of cafes that are restricting laptop use and such (actually if you don’t offer free WiFi, we’ll go away), I’m thinking that the real point should be that maybe sitting back and having a coffee and relaxing is a good thing to do.  You know what we used to do pre-WiFi?  Sit on a patio, nice mug of coffee and maybe a nice pastry and people watch or, gasp, have a conversation (and not on IM) with someone.  If this idea strikes you as alien and unfamiliar, you need to go to a cafe, without your laptop and cell phone off and just relax.

I know it might be a little scary, but trust me, it’s a good thing to do.  To make it even cooler, take a friend, significant other, spouse (maybe more than one friend … I’m not going to get into the more than one significant other thing…this is a family blog!) and talk with them.

Taking a break, taking stock, just taking time for yourself is something we all need to do to be better at we do.  Really.  Trust me.  Just do it.


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POSTED IN: Mobile Bedouin Tips

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