By: Jocelyn Schwalm
Coffee shops have long been considered a second home to creative types everywhere, but fundamental aspects that make a coffee shop a coffee shop are now changing. Like cafés, they are quintessential “third spaces” of the millennial generation. Third spaces are defined as an environment where social interaction takes place—a home away from home, so to speak.
Based on recent data, people actually work best under the bustling and humming of a coffee shop’s busiest hours. It wasn’t until recently that the actual environment of a coffee shop was proven to induce a creative flow. They not only contribute to a positive work environment, some of them are considered among the most beloved spots in a community. These third spaces are extremely important to maintain social lives in a fast-paced world. Research has found that the perfect amount of noise is generated from a coffee-shop environment to stimulate creativity.
The theory was tested against higher decibel noises. Ambient noise (which is about 70 decibels, more or less) stimulated the creative areas in the brain, which then produced higher levels of creativity. Anything around 85 decibels or more is much too loud and results in a distracting environment. A new website mimics this noise for home use in order to maximize the creative process. The website not only has music available to be played while at work but provides the greatly sought after hum and buzz of the café environment.
Cafés, additionally, are warm, inviting environments that provide a relaxing setting to work efficiently to reach a deadline or reconnect with an old friend. The modern coffee shop is a social location under the guise of a simple food-and-beverage joint. Coffee shops are just as important to socialization as they are for those who prefer independent work. These third spaces even inadvertently alleviate symptoms of mental health problems (such as depression) by advocating socialization. This lightens feelings of isolation from those consumed by depressive symptoms, which essentially deems coffee shops a good-feeling factory.
So next time you’re feeling a little down, maybe overcome by the circumstances of writer’s block, head on over to your local coffee shop, it may just give you the boost you need—the caffeine’s just an added bonus.