We own who we are at Data Driven Design. We're a group of full-time senior level digital strategists, web designers, developers, marketers and custom software programmers who don't have an office.

That's right, we don't have an office. And I'm not saying we don't have one of those fancy offices with craft beer on tap. Well that's true, but we literally don't have an office space.

We all work remotely. While we're based in Nashville, we travel with our families, and sometimes live in different states and even countries.

Ask Bailey, who's been to Chile, or Joe, who we really don't ever know where he is.

It's just what works best for us. So while I work from home most days, I decided to take a "coffee shop tour" around Nashville and Franklin over the last two weeks. I was out anyway, having to drop my 8 and 7 year olds off at day camp, then pick them back up. You see, it was more efficient for me to bring all my stuff with me (all I really need is a laptop, my headphones and wifi anyway), and work from a coffee shop close to the kids' drop-off / pick-up spot, rather than commute back and forth.

After all, when you're building a remote work culture, one of the main reasons - other than flexibility - that you don't have an office is efficiency.

So with maximum efficiency, and no real frills in mind, here's my rankings of the "Coffee Shops" / Public Places I worked from, and thus consumed products/food from, used amenities at, etc. over the last 10 working days. I'm ranking Wifi Speed, Bathroom Access (do you have to wait long), Bathroom Cleanliness, Background Noise, Food Options, Distractions, Safety (do you feel safe leaving your laptop and possessions unattended while getting food or using the restroom), Food and Service. These are the top categories I feel help achieve maximum workday effectiveness while working in public. Again, no frills. Ranking is from 1-10, 10 being the most desirable.

Whole Foods, Franklin TN -

Wifi Speed: SLOW (5/10)
Background Noise: REASONABLE (8/10)
Bathroom Cleanliness: BAD (3/10)
Bathroom Access: OKAY (6/10)
Safety: SAFE (10/10)
Distractions: NONE (10/10)
Table Cleanliness: STICKY (6/10)
Food / Service: OUTSTANDING (10/10)

Panera, Cool Springs / Franklin TN -

Wifi Speed: FAST (9/10)
Background Noise: REASONABLE (8/10)
Bathroom Cleanliness: OKAY (6/10)
Bathroom Access: BAD (5/10)
Safety: SAFE (10/10)
Distractions: SOME (7/10)
Table Cleanliness: CLEAN (10/10)
Food / Service: GOOD (8/10)

Frothy Monkey, Downtown Franklin, TN -

Wifi Speed: GOOD (8/10)
Background Noise: LOUD (6/10)
Bathroom Cleanliness: GOOD (8/10)
Bathroom Access: GOOD (8/10)
Safety: SAFE (10/10)
Distractions: SOME (7/10)
Table Cleanliness: CLEAN (10/10)
Food / Service: GREAT (9/10)

Panera, Franklin, TN -

Wifi Speed: GREAT (10/10)
Background Noise: MINIMAL (9/10)
Bathroom Cleanliness: EH (6/10)
Bathroom Access: BAD (5/10)
Safety: SAFE (10/10)
Distractions: SOME (7/10)
Table Cleanliness: STICKY (7/10)
Food / Service: EH (7/10)

There is an enormous amount of business being conducted at coffee shops and public places across the world. And there are several places I have worked at recently that didn't make the list due to the fact that I merely "stopped in" and spent about an hour, not really a full day working there. Among my favorites there, is White Bison, a new barista brand within Twice Daily convenience stores in Middle Tennessee. White Bison has fast wifi, amazing food options, is very clean and has solid bathrooms.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!


Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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