With comfy chairs, air conditioning, smell of espresso in the air, potpourried restrooms and free Wi-Fi, coffee shops are often an answer to many people’s prayers. If, for example, you are a freelance blogger, startup founder or entrepreneur who just wants a place to get some work done or meet someone away from the home office, a coffee shop is a good place to go.
However, to avoid carpal tunnel related issues and so you don’t get all up in people’s faces, we wouldn’t recommend working out of coffee shops all day every day. That’s despite the fact that working from coffee shops is a good way to change scenery, spark creativity and meet new and interesting people.
That said, if you must work from a coffee shop, it’s important that you observe common etiquette while there. There are no hard and fast rules of conduct for operating from coffee shops, but there are some pretty basic do’s and don’ts you should absolutely adhere to when working at the shops.
Some of the rules for proper etiquette at coffee shops are obvious. For example, you shouldn’t take more than one seat, particularly when a guest is trying to find extra seats to park a couple of kids for lunch, or hog all the prime spots when the coffee shop is busy. And you shouldn’t hog the power outlets either. Duh! Enjoy the space and gratuitous amenities available for common usage, but don't freeload. Freeloading sucks for everyone and could mean losing access in the future.
Buy a drink at least every 2-3 hours, but lean more towards ordering something every one-and-a-half hours or so, depending on how busy the shop is. If the coffee shop is rather empty, you have more leeway. Keep all your belongings next to you in a compact area and use headphones if you need to listen to audio. Don’t make loud phone calls. Step outside to make or receive your calls.
Finally, this is also pretty obvious and applies far beyond coffee shops, don’t hog a lot of bandwidth on the Wi-Fi. Be reasonable and keep to the basics of browsing the web and checking e-mail. As long as you are reasonable and empathetic of the people around you, including fellow guests and employees, you’ll be fine. Remember to tip well if you don't buy many drinks.
There are many different types of people who frequent coffee shops. Espresso Works, an Australian-based business specializing in coffee machine sales, maintenance and associated services, sort to find out the different types of people you will find at coffee shops, and prepared this eye-opening infographic. Scroll down to find out more.
From the freelancer to the hipster, which one are you?
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