British entrepreneurs are shunning coffee shops as a place to do business due to noise and security worries, according to a survey of 500 entrepreneurs .
The majority of entrepreneurs (87%) said they now think twice about working out of coffee shops, according to the research from The Office Group. Nearly half (47%) cite the increasingly noisy environment which is impacting productivity. While for 62% the biggest problem is the risk of having a laptop with valuable intellectual property (IP) on it stolen.
Worryingly, over a quarter of entrepreneurs (26%) have had at least one valuable item stolen whilst working out of a coffee shop. Of these, mobile phones, laptops, bags, wallets and memory sticks were among the most common items to be taken. This equates to the average start up losing approximately £700 every year as a result of having valuables stolen.
In addition to security concerns, entrepreneurs said they are ending the coffee shop commute due to an increase in noise levels. According to the research, the majority of the noise comes from young people and babies. For example, one respondent agreed to meet a client in a coffee shop only to find a local sixth form college had finished early for the day.
As part of the research, The Office Group measured the noise levels in leading coffee shops across London. Cafe Nero was found to have the highest levels of noise at 86 decibels which is equivalent to an alarm clock going off. The top five noisiest coffee shops to do business in are:
Rank Establishment Average sound level meter reading (dB) Equivalent noise level
1 Café Nero 86 Alarm clock
2 Starbucks 80 Busy traffic
3 EAT 79 Vacuum cleaner
4 Costa Coffee 71 Vacuum cleaner
5 Independent cafes 68 Loud TV
Those surveyed also voiced concerns about the lack of privacy in coffee shops which could result in IP theft with over half of entrepreneurs (54%) finding the lack of privacy the biggest annoyance about working out of a coffee shop. Over a third of entrepreneurs (37%) said they worry someone will steal business ideas by looking over their shoulder, or listening into a private call.
Olly Olsen, Co CEO of The Office Group, said: “Coffee shops used to be a good option if you’d just started your business and needed somewhere to work from. But increasingly entrepreneurs are demanding an alternative. By buying a £2.60 drink every hour, coffee shop commuters are spending up to £390 a month to work in an undesirable environment. Aside from the security, lack of privacy and noise issues, the numbers just don’t stack up. That’s why we’ve listened to feedback from start ups and launched a flexible office space membership scheme for entrepreneurs and mobile workers called “The Club.”
Launched today, The Club offers entrepreneurs and mobile workers an a