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                                                 - San Diego News Network - http://www.sdnn.com -



                Coffee shops are the office away from the office                           By Bryna Kranzler

                Posted By joseph.pena On May 18, 2009 @ 9:04 am In Arts & Entertainment, Food Toolbox, Lifestyle | 4

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                 [1] Students and the self-employed seek refuge from their home
                      offices at popular coffee shops, like Lestat's in Normal Heights,
                      pictured above. (Photo by Bob Kahn)

                 I spent the past year-and-a-half working at Starbucks. Not working as in preparing multi-syllabic,
                 caffeinated beverages; rather as in bringing my novel to labor over at the café. While I thought it was my
                 particular idiosyncrasy to abandon a quiet environment in favor of a noisier one, I was surprised to discover
                 I wasn t alone.

                 Throughout the country, people are using coffeehouses as their office away from home or office away
                 from the office. They are turning coffeehouses into what urban sociologist Dr. Ray Oldenburg, professor
                 emeritus at the University of West Florida, calls the Third Place, or the most important social
                 environment after home and office.

                 This phenomenon is apparent in San Diego where unique socioeconomic factors - a high frequency of
                 telecommuting and a high rate of self-employment - contribute to a distinct population of office-less
                 workers.

                  [The City of] San Diego has 43 percent of the population in the county but 54 percent of the jobs A net
                 gainer of population during the day, says Michael Schuerman, director of research at the San Diego
                 Regional Economic Development Corporation. Higher housing costs means more people moving farther
                 away    which would set the scenario for telecommuting.
                                                                                           Related links
                 Gas prices that are routinely among the highest in the nation create a
                                                                                           For a list of local free Wi-Fi
                 further incentive to avoid unnecessary, long-distance driving.
                                                                                           hotspots, see below [2]
                 Another factor is the city s high rate of self-employment and
                 entrepreneurship. Between 2002 and 2007 San Diego County had a
                 consistently higher rate of self-employed workers than the average
                 across the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
                 During this period, self-employment in San Diego averaged 8.97
                 percent of the workforce as compared with the national average of
                 6.94 percent.




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                 Coffee shops are becoming more attractive as non-traditional work
                 environments because of the increasing availability of free wireless
                 access (”WiFi”) and perks such as unlimited coffee. In addition, café
                 commuters” consistently cite two, seemingly incompatible reasons for
                 seeking an alternative to the home- or work-based office: The desire to
                 avoid the inevitable interruptions in the office, while at the same time
                 being part of a “social environment without the social obligations.

                 For Lily Gharemani, literary agent and co-founder of Full Circle Literary
                 Agency, the café is a necessary substitute for her office where there is
                  too much opportunity for distraction. When she reads manuscripts or
                 reviews contracts, she goes to Cream, an independent café in the
                 University Heights neighborhood of San Diego.

                  When I m at my desk, there s a pile of matters to be attended to. . .
                 At a clear café table I can give a manuscript my undivided attention,
                 she said.

                 The extent to which distraction makes the office an inefficient place to
                 work was quantified by Dr. Gloria Mark, professor of informatics at the
                 University of California, Irvine. Her 2005 study found that employees       See below [3] for a brief and
                  spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted        scandalous history of coffee
                 and whisked off to do something else     Each time a worker was             and coffeehouses.
                 distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return
                 to that task. This accounts for the familiar yet unsatisfying feeling of
                 accomplishing nothing after spending a full day at work.

                 Yet, in spite of the very real need for productive personal space, human beings are, by nature, a social
                 species and eschew isolation. According to Bob Kahn, a photographer and creator of software for
                 professional photographers, the mere presence of other people satisfies that communal craving. He enjoys,
                  having people around, not to talk to - - just to be around. In this way, the café-as-workplace is like
                 Cheers, the bar made famous by the television series of the same name. It s a place where everybody
                 knows your name but you don t have answer to it.




                       More "office-less" workers are using free Wi-Fi at coffee shops to
                 [4]   get work done. (Photo by Bob Kahn)


                 Many businesses don t resent these laptop-lingering customers and, in fact, they have been cultivating this
                 population. Angie Spinner, customer marketing coordinator for the West and Central regions of the Panera
                 Bread Company, reports that café commuters increase traffic during the hours between breakfast and
                 lunch, and lunch and dinner and drive sales during [those] times. It s no wonder, then, that the company
                 offers free refills on coffee and soda and even a telephone number for free technical support. Policies are
                 similar at independent cafes, such as Urban Grind, Lestat s, Peet s and Pannikin, all of which are making it
                 more convenient for people to use their facilities for work. (See sidebar on Wi-Fi spots around the county.)

                 While the natural metabolism of a cafe would seem to offer the very distractions that laptop laborers seek
                 to escape, the actual effect is counterintuitive.

                 The presence of others toiling in the same surroundings creates a serious and structured environment that
                 is conducive to work, says Mary Walshok, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for public programs, and dean of
                 university extension, as well as adjunct professor in the department of sociology, at the University of



 2 of 6                                                                                                                         9/10/2009 12:51 PM
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                 California, San Diego. And in the current economic climate in which everyone is working for himself      [i]t
                 doesn t matter where the work gets done.

                 Whether because of layoffs, cutbacks or personal choice, more people with high value-added skills are
                 working part-time or as independent contractors, using local cafés as their headquarters. In this trend, Dr.
                 Walshok sees an indication of where work is going in the future. Contract workers, she believes, will play a
                 larger role as companies purchase value-added skills, as needed. As a result, People who are comfortable
                 with ambiguity and isolation, and know how to navigate this kind of space will be best positioned in the new
                 economy.


                Article printed from San Diego News Network: http://www.sdnn.com

                URL to article: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-15/lifestyle/coffee-shops-are-the-office-
                away-from-the-office

                URLs in this post:

                [1] Image: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-15/lifestyle/coffee-shops-are-the-office-
                away-from-the-office/attachment/000016_img_1062
                [2] here: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-15/lifestyle/find-a-wi-fi-hotspot-near-you
                [3] here: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-18/lifestyle/a-brief-and-scandalous-history-
                of-coffee-and-coffeehouses
                [4] Image: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-15/lifestyle/coffee-shops-are-the-office-
                away-from-the-office/attachment/000025_img_1071


                                        Copyright © 2009 San Diego News Network. All rights reserved.

                                      - San Diego News Network - http://www.sdnn.com -

                                Article printed from San Diego News Network: http://www.sdnn.com




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San Diego News Network | Community, Downtown, Attractions, Restauran...   http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-18/lifestyle/a-brief-and-scandal...




                A brief and scandalous history of coffee and coffeehouses
                Posted By joseph.pena On May 18, 2009 @ 9:04 am In Arts & Entertainment, Food Toolbox, Lifestyle | 4
                Comments


                     0    Since the discovery of the coffee bean by an Abyssian goatherd (who found his goats
                   tweets
                           dancing after nibbling the berries from a particular bush), the dark beverage made from
                    tweet it has been both venerated and vilified. The first consumers were members of the Sufi sect
                          (the whirling dervishes ) who drank coffee to stay awake for late night prayers. But once
                 the beverage s popularity spread and coffeehouses opened, it quickly earned its reputation a
                  troublemaking social brew.

                   In 1511, upon learning that humorous rhymes about him were being composed in coffeehouses, the
                 governor of Mecca proclaimed coffee forbidden under the laws of Islam and forced all coffeehouses in
                 Mecca to close. In what may be the first example of coffee s addictive nature, the governor was
                 overruled by the sultan of Cairo who was a coffee lover.
                   In 1675, King Charles II of England felt threatened by False, Malicious and Scandalous Reports . . .
                 to the Defamation of His Majesties [sic] Government and issued a proclamation banning all
                 coffeehouses Kingdom. The resulting uproar, however, proved a greater threat to the monarchy than
                 the chatter therein, and the King was forced to reverse the ban before it was effected.
                   Political leaders weren t the only ones affected by the popularity of coffeehouses. In 1674, women
                 in launched a protest for keeping their husbands away from them every evening. The Women s
                 Petition Against Coffee, contending that their husbands came home from the coffeehouse with
                 nothing stiffe [sic] but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears. The Men s Answer to the Women s
                 Petition against Coffee, however, claimed that women should be grateful for coffee because it was an
                 aphrodisiac.
                   At the Palais Royal in Paris, the seeds of discontent with the French aristocracy were sown,
                 resulting directly in the storming of the Bastille and the French revolution. Similarly, The Green
                 Dragon Tavern (a coffeehouse) in Boston was where groups of patriots met secretly to plan The
                 Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution
                   But coffeehouses also served a higher purpose as the official meeting places for scientific, literary
                 and commercial conversations. Sir Isaac Newton and other members of the British royal society once
                 dissected a dolphin in a coffeehouse, while Alexander Pope is said to have written The Rape of the
                 Lock based on overhead coffeehouse gossip. Doctors also saw patients in private rooms in
                 coffeehouses as well as consulted with pharmacists who dispensed medication.
                   Serious business was also conducted in this environment. In London, a coffeehouse opened by
                 Edward Lloyd became a maritime meeting place where shipowners and the underwriters who insured
                 them exchanged news of ships, their cargos and auctions. So many underwriters rented booths at
                 the coffeehouse that the business had to move to larger quarters at which time it became known as
                 Lloyd s of London.
                   The London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange also took shape in coffeehouses
                 where merchants and brokers gathered for public auctions and to negotiate deals. The building that
                 housed Tontine s coffeehouse that gave birth to the NYSE still stands at the corner of Wall and Water
                 Streets.
                   Last year the U.S. Senate began holding bi-partisan, brainstorming legislative sessions in
                 Washington, D.C. s Café Karma. It was a great opportunity for us to . . . start thinking outside the
                 legislative box, Vice President Joe Biden had said. Senators credited the café s fresher coffee,
                 artistic atmosphere, and youthful staff and clientele with helping them overcome old obstacles and
                 come up with, among other ideas, a new proposal for stem-cell research


                         URL to article: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-18/lifestyle/a-brief-
                         and-scandalous-history-of-coffee-and-coffeehouses

                                Article printed from San Diego News Network: http://www.sdnn.com

                                       Copyright © 2009 San Diego News Network. All rights reserved.




4 of 6                                                                                                                        9/10/2009 12:56 PM
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                                          - San Diego News Network - http://www.sdnn.com -



                Find a Wi-Fi hotspot near you
                Posted By joseph.pena On May 15, 2009 @ 4:22 pm In Arts & Entertainment, Food Toolbox, Lifestyle |
                No Comments




                  3       Bruegger s Bagels
                 tweets                                  retweet
                          -11 locations in San Diego
                -Unlimited free wireless

                -Free coffee refills for customers who purchase a Bruegger s mug

                The Living Room

                -5 locations in San Diego

                -24 hours of free wireless for a minimum $6
                purchase in the café

                Panera Bread

                -12 locations in San Diego

                -Unlimited free wireless

                - Free coffee and soda refills

                Peet s

                -3 locations in San Diego (not including licensed
                stores in supermarkets, etc.)

                -Two hours of free wireless service
                -Obtain free access code from cashier; no purchase required

                -Additional outlets recently installed along walls; outlets also available in the ceiling

                San Dieg o Public Library

                -37 locations in San Diego

                -Unlimited free wireless

                -No food or drink permitted

                -Limited hours; check your local branch.

                Starbucks

                -Two consecutive free hours of wireless with use of stored-value Starbucks card

                -Registered card entitles users to free coffee refills

                -TIP: The Starbucks on Pearl in La Jolla benefits from the free Wi-Fi signal from the adjacent
                 Bruegger s Bagels




 5 of 6                                                                                                                        9/10/2009 12:56 PM
San Diego News Network | Community, Downtown, Attractions, Restauran...   http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-15/lifestyle/find-a-wi-fi-hotspot...




                 Places you may not expect to find free Wi-Fi
                -Supermarkets (Whole Foods, Von s, Ralph s)

                -Bookstores (Barnes & Noble/B Dalton/Bookstar)

                -Most Chain Hotels

                -Mission Federal Credit Union
                - The UPS Store

                -San Diego Airport Food Court

                -Denny s

                -EZ Lube


                 For other free Wi-Fi locations visit www.wi-fihotspotdirectory.com [1] or wififreespot.com/ca.html [2]




               Article printed from San Diego News Network: http://www.sdnn.com

               URL to article: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-15/lifestyle/find-a-wi-fi-hotspot-
               near-you

               URLs in this post:

               [1] www.wi-fihotspotdirectory.com: http://www.wi-fihotspotdirectory.com/
               [2] wififreespot.com/ca.html: http://wififreespot.com/ca.html



                                    Copyright © 2009 San Diego News Network. All rights reserved.




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