Being a homeworker, I have a greater degree of flexibility of where I work than perhaps more office-based folks, and often I find the best way to manage my energy rather than my time, as the Harvard study suggests, is to take myself off to a local Sutton Coldfield café, of which there are some real gems popping up in the area.
In this age of digital nomads, the office can be literally anywhere, and I often find the homely buzz of an independent café or the local branch of a well thought-out national chain gives me the right background noise to actually get on with some work, and connect with people in Sutton.
My favourite cafes in Sutton Coldfield
Looking up from my monitor and remembering I am, in fact, part of the human race, as an NCT mum with her buggy comes into Quinto Lounge, is great as I can take a breather from a detailed piece of work, and sometimes have a chat with them about the world of parenting. I think this national chain has taken real care over how it furnishes and runs each of its establishments. In conversation with the man behind the bar, the whole Loungers concept apparently started life in Bristol, when two friends wanted a local bar/café that had a neighbourhood feel with retro furniture.
A really calm and relaxing atmosphere can be found next door to Quinto at the independent Under Pressure Cafe. It has a fine selection of drinks with descriptions of where the coffee beans they use come from, and an equally diverse community notice board next to the counter. Thankfully, it has a few handy table and bench combinations that are ideal for gangly blokes like me, who crouch over their laptops to the painful detriment of their backs and necks.
Over in Boldmere, with its evolving high st including music events etc. - in my view making it increasingly like a mini Moseley of Sutton Coldfield - there’s the very friendly Deli in Boldmere. For me, the real joy here is the cosy feel of the place and the outside seating. It walks the line of being different without being pretentious perfectly. Going there will always get me through looking at a spreadsheet with a hot chocolate and a piece of cake.
Further afield on the edge of Sutton is the Fig and Olive, and although it’s an absolutely ideal place to work for a couple of hours, I can’t get over how garden centres have changed from being bland bank holiday destinations for families to argue in, to smart and comfortable places to go for a bite to eat and a drink. The complimentary biscuit with my tea was a nice touch, too.