Having recently become unemployed, I’ve found sitting at my desk or dining room table each day gets depressing. There’s only so many conversations I can have with my dogs before I go crazy. Cue the local coffee shop. With soothing music, the comforting shuffle of other human beings, and the hustle and bustle of being out of your damn house, a coffee shop is my favorite place to work. Many of us aren’t able to have a dedicated office space to our work. Even if you do, it’s nice to get out of the house or office and set up shop somewhere else to get the juices flowing. It’s public, during the day it won’t be crowded, and food and drink are built in. I’ve met with clients, read novels, and drafted my thesis with a warm cup of tea nestled beside my laptop. This extensive use has led me to observe the good and bad about using a coffee shop as an office. Buy something when you arrive and generally every two hours. That internet and table space is not free. They’re built into the price of that triple shot latte. Don’t bring food or drink from elsewhere. Think about it: Rent at a co-working space for the day: $50-100. Drinks/Snacks for a day at a coffee shop: $15-20.
Do not go to the shop during its busy hours and claim the largest table for eight straight hours. If you’re there during the shop’s peak hours, take up as little as space as possible, you can spread out when it slows down. Along the same lines, don’t stream so much content that you’ve become a bandwidth hog. Be considerate: Many people have had the great idea to use the coffee shop as their office. Respect their time and space, and the space the coffee shop provides for you. Even a corporate megaton like Starbucks has a staff that work in one store. Learn the names of your baristas. If someone needs the outlet you’re taking up, be polite and unplug for a while. See a family come in with a stroller? Offer them your table and go move to an armchair for a little while. Be kind: Remember your baristas are human beings. Keep in mind you’re not the only one getting work done.
Coffee shops play that mellow music for a reason, getting coffee should be a relaxing experience. Keep your audio to yourself. Don’t hold loud Skype conferences in the corner. Pack Headphones: No one needs to hear what you’re working on. Keep phone calls to a minimum or take them outside. Moving locations from your home or office is a great boon to creativity and a boost to your productivity. Follow these simple suggestions and you’ll be able to use your local java joint for years to come.