Design stores doubling as coworking spaces

A handful of furniture and design stores are doubling up as coworking spaces, encouraging nomadic workers to drop in with their laptops. Is this a natural evolution and the beginnings of a healthy partnership, or hardly a home fit for community-focused coworkers?

Coffee shop buzz is good for creativity, study finds

One futurist claims that we’ll trade our offices, universities and stores for coffee shops in the future, but won’t all this time in buzzing spaces disrupt the thinkers among us who chase eureka moments in quiet solitude? Not according to a new study.

Coffee shop denizens reveal their top pet peeves

The caffeine may be flowing and the atmosphere comfy at your local coffee shop, but working there isn’t without its annoyances, which is why WorkSnug set out to solicit ideas and develop a ‘Coffee Shop Code of Conduct.’ Now the results are out.

Kvetch about your coffee shop pet peeves, win a smartphone

Even Emily Post would be out of her depth in the world of modern technology, so WorkSnug is asking remote workers on the ground to weigh in with their rules for coffee shop worker etiquette – and offering a prize to the most popular suggestions.

Does Caffeine Really Affect Productivity?

Most of us web workers have a relationship with caffeine. Whether we use tea or coffee as creative fuel, or use coffee shops as our offices, caffeine has become an essential part of our professional lives. But how exactly does caffeine affect us?

Mobile Workspaces: What to Look For

2905808399_e8570329aeAs a web worker, you have the freedom to work from anywhere that has an Internet connection. A coffee shop or a library can make for just as good a workspace as a home office. But workplaces are not created equal. The differences between individual coffee shops can turn one into the perfect place to plant your laptop, while making another an impossible place to get any work done. The trick is learning to recognize what makes the best workspace for you before you buy a cup of coffee and find a chair. Read More about Mobile Workspaces: What to Look For

WebOS on a Netbook Could be the NBT

LAPTOP Magazine knows netbooks. They see every single netbook that comes down the pike and quite a few that don’t even make it to the U.S. An article they’ve published looks at the possibility that we may see netbooks running Palm’s (s palm) WebOS and I have to agree with them.
Netbooks started with Linux and work quite well with that OS. It’s cheaper and generally runs better on less hardware than the Windows (s MSFT) OS and is a good fit for the little netbook. That’s why we’ve been hearing that netbooks running the Android (s GOOG) OS are going to happen Real Soon Now. Let’s face it, Android is Linux at its core and since it runs well on phones it will easily run well on low-end computers.
The same premise applies to the WebOS.  It, too, is Linux at its core and since it’s cleaner and has a very polished consumer interface it would likely be a great fit for netbooks. Palm has been careful to make sure that the upcoming Pre phone will not be the only target device for the WebOS, so netbooks may very well be in their plans.
LAPTOP Magazine gives some good reasons why WebOS would be a good fit for netbooks and the single best one in my view is how it will likely run very well on ARM processors. These processors are cheaper than Intel’s (s INTC) Atom and are powerful enough to make for good netbook processors. It is expected that a netbook with ARM inside could provide very long battery life, so if you could put a pretty face on a netbook with WebOS, Palm may be sitting on a gold mine.

Caffeine As Fuel For Web Workers

Photo by Reid Beels

Photo by Reid Beels

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is put a kettle of water on the stove to make tea. Unlike Captain Picard’s preference for Earl Grey, I stick mostly to green tea to keep me caffeinated. I suspect that most of you have a similar ritual whether you reach for your morning Mt. Dew, tea, coffee, espresso, or a tall, skinny, half-caf, no whip, caramel machiatto from the local coffee shop.

The western obsession with caffeine has some interesting roots. On the NPR Science Friday podcast this week, Steven Johnson talked about how Age of Enlightenment in England coincides with the arrival of caffeine and the growing popularity of coffee shops as places where people with different backgrounds, like Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Priestley, came together over coffee and tea to talk about issues and new ideas. The coffee houses also introduced caffeine as a daily habit in people’s lives. At the time, one of the only other safe beverages was alcohol, since the water quality was poor, so some people went from being drunk by mid-morning every day to being caffeinated and alert throughout the day. Read More about Caffeine As Fuel For Web Workers

Where Is Your Community?

While the solitary web worker life can get lonely occasionally, most of us have found ways to engage with communities of our peers in less traditional ways outside of an office. There have been many posts on this blog about engaging with coworkers and clients via Twitter, IM, Facebook, and other social networking sites. Those are a great first step to keep in touch with real people throughout the day, but what about those times when you just need to get out of the house?