5 Rules for Proper Etiquette When Working from Coffee Shops

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With comfy chairs, air conditioning, smell of espresso in the air, potpourried restrooms, and free Wi-Fi, it's not surprising coffee shops are popular all across the world.

Many people frequent coffee shops to get some work done. From the freelancer to stressed out student and business types, coffee shops are a melting pot where all types of people from all walks of life converge to enjoy coffee and free Wi-Fi.

Among the types of people you will find at coffee shops, which one are you?


Types of People Who Frequent Coffee Shops


Different Types at Coffee Shops - Infographic.jpg


Basic Rules of Etiquette for Working from Coffee Shops


Whether you are a freelancer, entrepreneur, or hipster who just wants somewhere cozy to get some work done or to meet a client away from the office, a local coffee shop is a favorite spot to go.

However, to ensure you don’t irritate people while there, and also to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition that causes numbness and other symptoms in the hand and arm), it is not advisable to work out of coffee shops all day every day even though working from the shops is a good way to change scenery, spark creativity, and meet new and interesting people.

If you must work from coffee shops, though, observe common etiquette while there. Although there are no hard and fast rules of conduct for operating from coffee shops, there are basic do’s and don’ts you should adhere to when working at the shops. These are basic rules governing socially acceptable behavior that apply to people working from coffee shops.

Some of the rules for proper etiquette at coffee shops are obvious and easy to follow, including:


#1. Don’t take more than one seat


This is particularly important in situations like when a guest is trying to find extra seats to park a couple of kids for lunch.

Keep all your belongings next to you in a compact area.


#2. Don't hog all the prime spots


Especially true when the coffee shop is busy. Don't hog the power outlets either. Duh!

Enjoy the space and gratuitous amenities available for common usage, but don't freeload. Freeloading could mean losing access in the future.


#3. Buy a drink at least every 2-3 hours


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 probably have more leeway.  


#4. Don’t make loud phone calls


Step outside to make or receive your calls. And use headphones if you need to listen to audio.


#5. Don’t hog the Wi-Fi bandwidth


This unspoken rule is also pretty obvious and applies far beyond coffee shops. 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.


George Mathews is a staff writer for WebWriterSpotlight.com. He is passionate about personal growth and development.