Over the last couple of years I have discovered the joys of working from coffee shops. It is a great way to expose yourself to different people and environments. For this reason, I take advantage of working from coffee shops as much as possible. Over the course of this time, I’ve learned a few dos and don’ts to make working from coffee shops smooth and productive.
- Scout out the electricity sockets before you sit down. – There is nothing worse than settling into a table, getting all setup for work time, and realizing that your laptop is down to single digit battery life. So instead of bee-lining it to the first open table you see, scope out your surroundings, and then pick a table that you can settle into for the foreseeable future.
- Confirm the coffee shop has wifi ahead of time. This might seem like a given, but I have unfortunately run into this problem on more than one occasion. And with more coffee shops going wifi free, or putting a wifi time limit in place, it’s worth the quick phone call ahead of time.
- Order more than just a coffee. Be considerate of the coffee shop. They are there to make money. So support a local business and order a snack or lunch if you are planning to settle in for more than an hour.
- Don’t book phone calls during your coffee shop time. There is nothing worse than being on the receiving end of a business call from someone who is in a noisy space. Or worse, a video call. Plan your day ahead of time so your coffee shop time is purely focused work, not phone calls. Your coffee shop companions will also thank you.
- Try new places. The purpose of working from a coffee shop is to expose yourself to different people and different environments. So take advantage of this and try exploring new places. I use #coffeeshop on Instagram to find new coffee shops that are still flying under the radar (i.e. not all over BlogTO and Toronto Life yet). There is something inherently rewarding about finding a hidden gem.