Interviewing In Coffee Shops? Really!

Date: Thu Mar 31 Author: Chelliah Nakeeran

Conducting an interview is something of a trend these days. And as more businesses and start-ups pursue remote working, the trend is likely to increase. 

But is interviewing in coffee shops a good idea? 

Edward Avila, the vice president of talent acquisition at Alation suggests recruiters to “try to avoid” interviewing in coffee shops.

On the other hand, coffee shop interviews can be a useful pre-screening opportunity. If you’re interviewing for a critical position, a casual chat over a coffee can help you evaluate candidates you would like to move on to the next stage. 

The noisy environment of a coffee shop can also help you to determine whether a candidate can concentrate in the vibrant atmosphere of an office. Or evaluate how they operate under pressure in a chaotic environment imbued with distractions. 

However, none of these screening strategies actually translate into a worthwhile interview.

How do candidates feel about coffee shop interviews?

Opinions on the topic of interviewing in coffee shops are divided. Some candidates may like the casual approach and a free coffee, whilst others can’t understand why recruiters think it’s a good idea

Depending on the type of interview you intend to conduct it may not be a good idea at all. As a matter of fact, interviewing in coffee shops may not even be ethical

Interviews should be private and confidential. Candidates would prefer not to discuss personal things and may feel uncomfortable answering some questions when they know the person at the next table can hear them. 

Meeting a stranger in a coffee shop can also create an awkward greeting. In an already tense situation, recruiters invite unnecessary stress and pressure on themselves and on candidates.

Interviewing in coffee shops does not create a good impression

Millennials are known for being choosy about the type of company they work for. They want to know about the culture of a company to determine if the job is a good fit for the lifestyle they want.

When you hold interviews in a coffee shop, you deny candidates the opportunity to get a feel for the environment they will be working in and assess where they will be spending their days. 

They do not have the opportunity to see your office, experience the atmosphere or meet the people they could be working with. All these things are decision making factors for some people – especially top talent who will no doubt have more than one job offer coming their way. 

It’s worth considering that at the time of writing, the number of vacancies in the UK job market is at an all-time high. With more opportunities open to more people, the onus is on recruiters to make a good impression on the candidates they want to recruit.

Wrap up

Coffee shops are rarely the best choice for conducting an interview. They are fine for casual interviews with a view to assess whether the personality of a candidate is a good fit for the team and company culture. 

However, casual interviews should come after you have already interviewed the candidate to assess how qualified they are for the job. And serious interviews should take place in a professional environment. 

If you need a private room to host interview candidates, BluDesks can help. We have hundreds of meeting rooms available near you. And they’re easy to book with one simple login and a wide choice of locations.

How Renting Meeting Space With BluDesks Can Help Your Business

Date: Tue Mar 22 Author: Chelliah Nakeeran

The nature of the digital world has changed the way we work. Remote working and collaborative projects with off-site contractors were becoming prominent even before the pandemic.

Companies of all sizes are changing their business models to focus on collaboration rather than individualistic work. As a result, people are spending more time in meetings. 

Surveys show that upper management spends around 50% of their time in meetings. Even middle management and operational teams spend more time than they need having meetings. 

As a result, there is a shortage of meeting rooms. This has been exacerbated by companies downsizing and switching to a hybrid office. Remote workers spend 25.3% more time in meetings, but there are fewer rooms. 

Even with sophisticated booking systems, meetings can run over and you either have to leave the room and finish the meeting with your client elsewhere, or you’re left waiting for the meeting room to become available and you keep a client waiting. 

Either scenario is not ideal. 

Nor is a zoom meeting at your desk where you annoy your colleagues, team meetings in noisy cafes, or cancelling a meeting altogether because C-suite executives have pulled rank to have crisis talks.

There is another option. Rent a meeting room with BluDesks! 

Because BluDesks have multiple options you have more chance of finding the ideal meeting room whether you book well in advance or last minute. 

  1. Professional Setting 

Coffee shop meetings can be okay for one-to-one and a change of scenery. But public places are not good if you’re brainstorming or having a meeting with a group of people. You will also be competing against the noise. 

Meeting rooms provided in office settings are usually more appropriate for a variety of reasons. They are quieter, ambient, and fully equipped with video conferencing amenities, whiteboards, plug sockets and TV/audio equipment etc. Some offices even provide refreshments gratis, so renting meeting rooms can be more cost-effective than coffee shops as well.

   2. Multiple Locations 

One of the biggest benefits of having a BluDesk pass is that you can book a meeting room anywhere in the world with just one registration. This gives you access to thousands of meeting rooms in the most convenient location. 

For example. You could meet a client halfway or wherever is most convenient for them. Likewise, if two colleagues are working from home and live on the same side of town, there is little point in travelling to the office to have a meeting when there is an office within 10 minutes walking distance.

   3. Privacy

A common issue for people in meetings these days is privacy. You either get interrupted by people popping their heads round the door to check if the room’s free or you’re in a public space. 

Renting office space gives you more privacy and you’re less likely to be interrupted – providing you book a sufficient amount of time. BluDesks provide a pay-as-you-go service so you pay by the hour. This makes booking meeting space with BluDesks convenient and cost-effective. 

Avoid The Hassles of Booking Meeting Rooms in London

Date: Tue Mar 15 Author: Chelliah Nakeeran

Booking a meeting room in London can be time-consuming. If you’re among the hordes of freelance workers, work-from-home-employees or start-ups that don’t have easy access to meeting rooms in a convenient location, browsing the net is a frustrating waste of time. 

That being said, even if you do have access to meeting rooms, there’s no guarantee that booking one through your company’s internal room scheduling software will turn out well. 

Have you had any Outlook headaches lately? 

If you regularly need space for a variety of meetings, you’re probably familiar with the following scenarios:

  • You’ve booked the meeting room from 10 – 11. It’s 10:05 and your anxiety levels are bubbling because the previous meeting has overrun and you can’t get in. It’s eating into your meeting time. The anxiety is even worse when a client’s waiting!
  • You’ve booked the meeting room from 10 – 11. It’s 11:05, you’re frustrated because you’re running the meeting with important clients and need another 15 mins but have to close the meeting room early as someone else has booked the room at 11 and pressing you to get out. All the more annoying because you knew the meeting would take 1 1/2 hours and the space wasn’t available.
  • You’ve booked a meeting room for 11, but when you arrive, another manager has booked it for the entire day. How did that happen? The room was showing that it was available on Outlook – but the person that booked the room did select the right options to book the “New All Day Event” option. D’oh! 

BluDesks can help by enabling meeting rooms to be booked when and where you want – even when all the rooms in your office of fully booked. 

Book a Meeting Room on BluDesks

BluDesks has teamed up with hundreds of co-working spaces that offer meeting rooms in London. As a matter of fact, we give you access to over 1500 co-working locations all over the world. 

The beauty of using BluDesks is that you can book a meeting room in London that is convenient for you to reach. So let’s say, you experience any of the common scenarios mentioned above. Simply log into your BluDesks account and see if there’s a meeting room within five or ten minutes of your office. There’s a strong chance there will be! 

BluDesks also make booking a meeting room in London easy for freelancers, start-ups and work-from-home employees. If you want to impress a client, why not book a meeting room in a co-working space to give your client the impression you run a successful business. Fake it till you make it – every other successful has!

If you’re working from home and need to meet up with a colleague to brainstorm, it might be more convenient for you to meet in the middle instead of travelling all the way to the office. 

BluDesks simply removes all the hassle of booking a meeting room in London by giving you access to hundreds of co-working spaces. It only takes a matter of minutes to find and book a meeting room. Plus you only pay for the time you use so it keeps the costs down as well. 

Hop on board. Who knows where the BluDesks journey will take you! 


Quiet Meeting Rooms – They’re Better Than Noisy Coffee Shops

Date: Tue Mar 8 Author: Chelliah Nakeeran

The workplace has experienced massive upheavals of late. And the ‘new normal” looks set to continue. According to a report published by McKinsey, 63% of businesses plan to continue remote working, either fully or by adopting a hybrid model. 

Whilst working from home has advantages for some people, for others, it can be a distraction. Consequently, remote workers looking for a change of scenery by working in cafes. 

However, there are arguably more problems in cafes than at home. You’re not guaranteed a seat in a coffee shop and if you connect to the internet there’s no guarantee the connection is stable or secure.

Holding a zoom meeting in a cafe can also be distracting for other people. When there is music playing and the drone of conversation in the background, it’s not always easy for people to concentrate or hear what is being said.

Meeting up with colleagues and team members also throws up the same challenges. For example, it’s common for regional sales teams and operations staff to hold meetings in cafes – only to find they’re too crowded, noisy and messy. 

Staying focused in a cafe is fine when people are working on their own. It’s easier to turn your attention towards your work and shut out background noise when you’re on your own. But trying to listen to what someone is saying when there are conversations on surrounding tables vying for attention challenges people’s ability to stay focused and connected. 

Book quiet meeting rooms

If cafe-based meetings are not working out for you, why not book a quiet meeting room in a co-working space. With BluDesks, you can book a wide range of meetings room all over London, the UK and the world in a matter of clicks. 

With a network of co-working spaces offering affordable meeting rooms all in one place, finding a meeting room in a convenient location is simple. It takes a matter of minutes to find, choose and book a meeting room through our website or app. 

There is also a wider choice of meeting rooms to accommodate all types of meetings. We have small meeting rooms for one-to-one or brainstorming in small groups or large meeting rooms that enable you to fit in the entire team. 

If you’re hosting clients or delivering a presentation, you will be able to find meeting rooms in London that are fully equipped with whiteboards, projectors, TV/audio equipment and various sockets. 

BluDesks also provide a flexible service that keeps your budget in mind. You can book meeting rooms by the hour so you only pay for the time you use them. 

Our pay-as-you-go and meet-up anywhere model has proven to be highly popular with businesses that deploy distributed workforces. It’s convenient, cost-effective and constructive. 

With a single BluDesk Pass you have access to over 1500 meeting rooms the world over, and hundreds of quiet meeting rooms in London. Check out the meeting rooms you can choose from here and book a quiet space for your next meeting today.


3 Problems Hybrid Models May Face Booking Meeting Rooms

Date: Tue Mar 1 Author: Chelliah Nakeeran

Working from home proved pretty popular during the pandemic. According to one study, nearly half the UK’s professional workforce want to continue with flexible working in the post-pandemic era. 

And that’s exactly what is happening. According to the Office of National Statistics, 85% of businesses intend to pivot to a hybrid model. But flexible working is not without its challenges. 

Throughout the pandemic, the issues experienced due to lack of human interaction and in-person collaboration was well documented. Now employees are returning to the office, people are also facing drawbacks with holding meetings or booking a meeting room.  

Here are three key issues.

    1.Insufficient facilities at home

Not everyone’s home environment is suitable for meeting. For people living in rural areas, a poor broadband connection can be an issue. A bad connection is disruptive and frustrating for everybody listening to you sound like Norman Collier (one for the younger generations there). 

A more common, and arguably more annoying issue, is background noise. How many times have you been in an important meeting when your three-year comes crashing in pretending to be a power ranger or the cat walks across your keyboard and blocks your camera? 

Yeeaaah…we’ve all been there. 

    2.Emergency meetings are a no-go 

Sometimes you need to call an impromptu meeting. Start-ups, in particular, can hit a snag that needs immediate brainstorming. If your team of collaborators are not all in the office, you can’t simply call an emergency meeting. Even if you are all in the office, there may not be a meeting room available. 

This is where BluDesks rises out of the water like the sword Excalibur. If one of your team members is faced with the problem in scenario one or there are no meeting rooms available, you can book a nearby meeting room in a matter of minutes on the BluDesks website or app. 

    3.The meeting rooms are too small 

Companies pivoting to a hybrid working office have been taking advantage of co-working spaces in London to cut down on overheads. The convenience is great – until you book a meeting room that’s not big enough to accommodate everyone. 

It can work the other way around as well. Small groups occupy a large meeting room because it comes fully equipped with a digital whiteboard or TV screens that are ideal for video conferencing. 

BluDesks gives you access to hundreds of fully-equipped meeting rooms in London. They are easy to book and give you the option to book a meeting room that is the ideal size for your needs. 

What’s more, you can book a meeting room anywhere in London – or the world for that matter. We’ve teamed up with a network of over 1500 co-working spaces so you can conveniently book meeting rooms wherever you are. 

Our business model is also designed to help you save costs. We charge affordable fees and you only pay by the hour. The minimum booking is one hour, but you can book the same room all day, all week or all month if that’s what you need – providing you get your booking in first of course. 

Avoid problems when trying to book meeting rooms. Sign up to BluDesks today and access hundreds of co-working spaces with meeting rooms near you.