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Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down: Meetings in Coffee Shops

Anyone who’s been to a coffee shop in the last few years (which is about 99.7% of the population) knows that many people use them as virtual offices. They arrive in the morning, laptop in tow, and spend the day drinking coffee, eating muffins, and getting work done.

But is a coffee shop really the right place for a meeting? I give it a thumbs up for in person meetings- but only for gatherings of 4 people or less. According to a recent article on GigaOm, any meeting bigger than four can’t get around a single table. And let’s be honest- ten people gathering at Starbucks for a meeting are going to be loud.

Keep your face to face coffee shop meetings to a reasonable size.

And as for taking a conference call at a coffee shop- thumbs down. We all talk at a higher volume when on a cell phone, and for the others on the call, the background noise can be really irritating. Add the complete lack of privacy, and you’re better off going home (or to your car) for anything but short calls.

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