Even if you work from a home office, it’s nice to get away on occasion. If you need internet access, a coffee shop with wifi is the logical choice for many freelancers. These establishments expect to have some customers bring their laptops along and stake out a claim, but some people take advantage of the conveniences and think of coffee shops as their personal space.
How can you be a great coffee shop patron while you work?
Buy something–The coffee shop/work relationship shouldn’t be one sided. Spend a little money when you arrive and again later if you stay a while.
Tip the staff–Especially if you are a regular at that corner table. You are taking up space in a restaurant and the barista is your server.
Share power–You’re probably already scoping out the location of the electrical outlets, but make sure you’re not blocking one if you’re not using it and offer it to the people next to you if you’re the one with the best seat.
Go home–Just because you could stay all day doesn’t mean you should. The coffee shop really isn’t your office for an entire workday.
Be polite–Loud phone conversations and poor table manners won’t make you any friends. You’ll probably be seeing those people again next week–don’t make them groan when they see you coming.
I usually work from a local coffee shop one morning a week, just to get a change of scene and a little bustle to keep me motivated. How about you?
Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative