For most of us, the coffee shop is our office away from home. That’s where we go to when we’re looking for some human companionship and the white noise that only an office can bring.
We treat coffee shops as an extension of our home(office), we have to remember that coffee shops are businesses. We’re allowed to stay as long as they welcome us, which is why we should never give them a reason to kick us out.
The proper behavior for online workers in coffee shops was mostly unwritten. But with the huge number of online workers looking for alternative workspaces, I think it’s about time for the rules to be written down.
10 Rules for Online Workers When Working in a Coffee Shop
1. Make sure you have a fully-charged laptop/tablet/phone before entering the shop. Most coffee shops allows their customers to charge their devices free of charge. It’s a really nice perk, which is why you should never abuse it and turn your favorite coffee shop into your own personal charging station.
2. Order something before sitting down to do your work. It’s a coffee shop, not your office. So be polite, order your drinks first before looking for a table where you can settle in and work.
3. If you don’t want to be disturbed, wear earphones. There’s always going to be music and conversation going around in a coffee shop. If you need to focus, bring your headphones to keep out the background noise.
3.1 Remove your headphones when you need to talk to someone on the phone or in real life. Your voice WILL come out louder if you talk with headphones on. Keep your conversation private (and your voice down low) by removing your headphones before you start talking.
4. Don’t hog the bandwidth. You’re not the only one using the internet in a coffee shop. Save your uploading/downloading/streaming tasks for your home office and stick to browsing and emails.
5. Share your table once the place gets too crowded. You’re probably not the only one who thought a coffee shop would be a great place to work/study/hangout. Share a table when someone asks. You never know, you might win a new friend.
6. Order more than one item if you plan to stay for more than a couple of hours. I know that there might be some who wouldn’t agree with me on this but I think that you should spend more if you plan to stay longer in a coffee shop. It costs money to keep everything running in a coffee shop, and every hour you stay there without buying anything costs them electricty, WiFi and space for more customers. Make it worth their while by ordering more.
7. Tip well and be friendly with your barista/waiters. Waiters and baristas love good tippers and are more likely to give good service/perks/discounts to those that tip well.
8. Take phone calls outside or keep your voice low when taking Skype calls. Coffee shops are made for small, intimate conversations. Nobody wants to hear your broadcast your phone call.
9. When having meetings with clients or colleagues, avoid being disruptive to the other customers. Yes, it’s a public place but you and your friends are not the only people there. Be considerate and keep your voices low.
10. Help your favorite coffee shop stay in business by promoting them. Something as simple as a positive Yelp review or talking about your favorite place to your friends goes a long way.