6 unspoken rules of working remotely from a coffee shop
(That you need to know)
Know what coffee shop you’re going to
Come prepared with what you’ll need
Don’t be a cheapskate (and buy something)
Don’t leave your stuff unattended
Avoid conference and video calls (where possible)
Don’t be a space hog (leave room for others)
One of the benefits of working remotely, is not having to be tied to the same working environment on a daily basis.
Instead of working from home you can head to a different location, for a change of scenery and to keep things fresh.
This can give you a major boost, instead of being alone at home, you’re out, you’re changing things up by working somewhere different.
Generally, a good remote working place will require a few essentials to make it viable such as, Wi-Fi (preferably free), seating, power outlets and toilets.
One such place that is often frequented by remote workers, are coffee shops, which have the added bonus of being able to get coffee (who knew).
But with this comes rules (as well as some pre-planning) that you should follow before venturing to work at a coffee shop.
These unspoken rules aren’t generally written anywhere, but a best practice you should follow, for your sake and others:
1. Know what coffee shop you’re going to
All coffee shops will be different, you don’t want to turn up to work at one, only to find that it’s not the best place to work from.
Scope out the coffee shop you’re looking to work at beforehand, know where the power sockets are, if there’s free Wi-Fi, when it gets busy, what’s the staying policy (how long before you’re kicked out).
You need to find if this it is going to have the right working environment for you.
2. Come prepared with what you’ll need
Because you won’t be working from home, you may need to bring some extra equipment, to help you stay focused and minimise distractions.
Headphones — can help you stay focused, if it starts to get loud they’ll help drown out the noise, allowing you to concentrate better.
Charger — there’s no point going somewhere to work if you run out of battery, bring your charger.
Extension cord — power sockets may not be in the most convenient places, make sure you’re able to reach them.
Alternative means to access the internet — not all coffee shops will have Wi-Fi, some will have unreliable connection. A Mi-Fi dongle or tethering through your phone can solve this.
3. Don’t be a cheapskate (and buy something)
The coffee shop is a business, it isn’t solely there to provide you with power for your laptop and free Wi-Fi.
As common courtesy for using the resources, buy something every couple of hours.
This helps support the business and justifies you staying there, otherwise you risk being kicked out for paying customers.
4. Don’t leave your stuff unattended
This may seem obvious, but we know the concept of leaving a laptop or jacket, symbolises that you’re still using the seat.
But if you head to the toilet and leave your work gear unattended, you leave yourself open to potential problems.
Either your stuff has gone missing by the time you get back, or you could expose confidential information that anyone could see while your laptop’s unattended.
Is it worth all that to make sure your working space has been saved?
5. Avoid conference and video calls (where possible)
A coffee shop is not the best environment to take a video call for a few reasons.
When it’s quiet — it’s a bit rude to the people around, and no one wants to be the loud guy talking to his computer in the corner.
When it’s loud — it’s going to be difficult for all parties to hear each other with the background noise, it also doesn’t set the best impression.
Anyone could hear you — paying customers, staff, which means you can’t really talk about anything confidential, or risk a breach in security.
Video calls may not always be avoidable, an emergency that requires you to be on a conference call with your colleagues could come up.
However where possible, it’s best to plan any important calls around your coffee shop work days.
6. Don’t be a space hog (leave room for others)
Be considerate of others, don’t take up a table that seats six, when you only need one to work.
If it’s busy and there are others looking to sit, your bag and coat don’t need their own seat, make room for others.
To help with this, try only getting items out your bag as you need them and putting the ones away you’re not using.
Don’t need your notebook and pen straight away? Take it out later.
Going to take a break and read for 30 minutes? Put your laptop away before taking out your book.
This will stop you from spreading too much and feeling like you need more space.
Do you have any tips or rules that you follow when working from a coffee shop? Let us know in the comments 😀