New ways of working

Designing community buildings to leverage the coffee shop effect.

The digital economy has supported changing work practices and has created new lifestyle opportunities for both the employed and self-employed. Corporate downsizing, the ability of businesses to readily source inputs from remote suppliers and enhanced communications & information technology have provided opportunities for new and more flexible modes of working, and have given rise to ‘home-based businesses.

For those looking to establish a home-based occupation, important considerations include lifestyle, suitable local infrastructure and access to business services. Micro and small businesses, especially new start-ups, are establishing home offices or low rent in the suburbs and regional centres.

With the economy continuing to change over time, the community will need ongoing business establishment, growth and investment. Councils will need to invest in the emerging “work-from-home” population by providing functional community working spaces which can be accessed by all.

Studies show that employees benefit in multiple ways from remote working opportunities. Known as the "coffee shop effect," employees report increased focus and productivity while working remotely in cafes. The background noise and lack of co-worker interruptions keep individuals on task. 


From a health standpoint, many people report lower blood pressure, stress and anxiety levels when working remotely. The relaxed atmosphere, informal attire, freedom and flexibility have a positive impact on their self-worth, commitment to their work and responsibility level.

Councils now have the opportunity to develop new infrastructure or upgrade existing infrastructure to support local and home-based workers. Designing these facilities to cater the “coffee shop effect” will ensure that the facilities are being used by remote workers and provide them a productive work environment.

2Construct has seen an increase in the development of community hubs which include offices, classrooms, medical services and support facilities, proving that the local community workers are now more than ever demanding this level of flexibility and functionality to be successful in their jobs - to learn more, download our Community Insight Report.