Many of us aren’t able to have a dedicated office space to do 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 clients, read whole novels, drafted my thesis, and had many a conversation 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 are 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 it’s 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.
Even a corporate megaton like Starbucks has a staff that is assigned to 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.
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.
Moving locations from your home or office is a great boon to creativity. Coffee shops offer a good space for one to work. With a little bit of class and manners, you’ll be able to make them a great spot to work for many trips to come.