Does hosting a work meeting in the office vs. a café affect team morale?
In an effort to shake up boring meetings, some managers meet with their colleagues in cafes instead of the office. It remains an open question whether employees actually look forward to those meetings more than a traditional office meeting. On the one hand, cafés give off less of a "work" vibe and provide the opportunity for coffee and snacks. On the other hand, meeting in the office is sometimes simpler and more convenient than walking to a café and trying to find a seat.
We conducted an experiment with 400 people on Amazon Mechanical Turk to test whether Enthusiasm for meeting is higher when such meetings are held in the office vs. a café, and whether those perceptions differ between younger and older respondents. Participants were told to "Imagine that your boss wants to meet with you and another co-worker to catch up about a project you all are working on. The location for the meeting will be [an office meeting / a nearby café], pictured below."
Participants were then shown one of the photos below (randomly assigned) as the prospective venue for the meeting. Participants were then asked, "To what extent are you looking forward to this meeting?" (1 = Not at all, 7 = Extremely).
Although our café condition was rated slightly higher (avg. = 5.12) than our Office condition (avg. = 4.91), this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.147). Nor did we find any significant difference for age or gender. The results suggest that if you're planning a meeting, don't stress too much about where to host it.
We used ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis to test for significant differences in believability between the café and Wikipedia conditions, For significant differences, the coefficient would be large and its corresponding “p-value” would be small. If the p-value is less than 0.05, we consider the difference statistically significant.