5 Rules for Proper Etiquette When Working from Coffee Shops

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. If you are a freelance writer, startup founder or entrepreneur who just wants somewhere cozy to get some work done or to meet a client away from the office, a coffee shop is a good place to go.

However, in order to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition that causes numbness and other symptoms in the hand and arm), and to ensure you don’t irritate people, it isn't recommended 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 a coffee shop, it is important to observe common etiquette while there. There are no hard and fast rules of conduct for operating from coffee shops, but there are some basic do’s and don’ts you should adhere to when working at the shops.


Basic Etiquette for Working from Coffee Shops


Some of the rules for proper etiquette at coffee shops are pretty obvious:


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.

So who do these basic rules governing socially acceptable behavior at coffee shops apply to?

Who are the people working from coffee shops?


The Different Types of People Found at Coffee Shops - Infographic


There are many different types of people who frequent coffee shops. Espresso Works, an Australian-based business specializing in coffee machine sales and associated services, prepared an interesting infographic showing the types of people you will find at coffee shops.

From the freelancer to the hipster, which one are you?

Scroll down to find out more.

Different Types at Coffee Shops - Infographic.jpg

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