Working From a Coffee Shop: 4 Tips

Thanks to the rise of digital media and growing flexibility in the workplace, nearly half the workforce holds a job that’s compatible with a partial telecommuting schedule — and about one quarter of those employees work away from the office at some frequency.

A favorite place for many workers? The local coffee shop down the street.

Working from a coffee shop allows you to reap the benefits of human interaction without having to constantly talk. Plus, it provides you with a cozy getaway to focus if your home environment is too distracting.

When your Saturday morning stomping grounds turn into your Thursday afternoon office, you could be welcoming some extra creativity into your work style and productivity. But if you’re not prepared, you could be left with a chilly seat by the door and no work to do if the Internet goes down. Here are 4 tips for working from a coffee shop:

1. Do your research

Just because you frequent a certain coffee shop doesn’t mean it’s ideal for your afternoon workload. Before you settle in, do your research. Find the optimal time and location that’s best fit for your situation based on peak hours. Some will be loud and some will be quiet (and some might not even have room for you and your laptop). Scope out the reviews and find the coffee shop that’s most suited to your style.  

2. Be prepared

There’s little hope of getting anything done if your laptop is reaching the end of it’s life. Before you head for the door, be sure your laptop is fully charged and your bag is stocked with a charger and a backup battery if you have one. Double check that you have pens, paper, money for purchasing and some headphones — because you never know when that couple at the next table is going to distract you. Always have a plan of what you’re going to accomplish, and a backup list of things you can do offline if the Internet does fail you. If you’re really feeling ambitious, pack that small surge protector or power strip to share the nearest outlet with your neighbor.

3. Be mindful

Remember this coffee shop you’re working in is a business, too. Order something every few hours and be sure to tip the baristas. When it comes to choosing the optimal seat, pick wisely. Avoid any tables next to the door or register, and don’t start to get comfortable with the four-top when there’s a perfectly respectable smaller table nearby. Be mindful of the security of your work, too, by investing in security measures. Some companies even make screens that limit the viewing angle of your laptop!

4. Interact

Even if you’re a complete stranger to everyone in the coffee shop, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the person next to you or with the person helping you at the counter. You need a little time away from your work to stimulate your mind and come up with new ideas. Besides, you never know when a business opportunity may come up or you’ll meet some new friends.

Bonus Tip:

Don’t forget the laptop sticker! Simply putting your business name or logo on your computer provides you with some free advertising.

If you’re looking for a new job, or hoping to find talent for your own business, Celarity can help. We’ve been placing qualified individuals with Twin Cities companies since 1993. Contact us today to learn more, or browse our job openings!


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