A coffee shop is a wonderful place to kick back with friends and relax on the weekends. Such a warm and welcoming environment is also gaining popularity as the perfect workspace for remote employees. Students and professionals from all walks of life are doing work at coffee shops near them.
Why do people love working remotely from a coffee shop? Explore the benefits of working and studying in a cafe, and learn how you can do it as productively as possible.
Coffee Shops: The New Remote Workplace
As more and more people take on work from home positions and remote learning courses, coffee shops are becoming the new remote workplace. While employers or educational institutions once may have been hesitant to open up these opportunities, advances in technology keep remote individuals engaged and offer the accessibility they need. These advantages enable them to complete their work to a standard equivalent with in-person assignments.
Studies show that employees benefit in multiple ways from remote working opportunities. Known as the "coffee shop effect," employees report increased focus and productivity while working remotely in cafes. The background noise and lack of co-worker interruptions keep individuals on task.
From a health standpoint, many people report lower blood pressure, stress and anxiety levels when working remotely. The relaxed atmosphere, informal attire, freedom and flexibility have a positive impact on their self-worth, commitment to their work and responsibility level.
Employees enjoy doing work at a coffee shop, and employers reap the benefits of productivity and remote work as well. Many companies are embracing remote opportunities for their workers. Technology connects their staff to the necessary software and allows them to stay in communication with their teams. With fewer employees physically in the office, businesses can save money on maintenance and facility costs like rent, equipment and amenities.
10 Tips for Staying Focused and Successful While Working or Studying in a Coffee Shop
Studying or working from a coffee shop may completely change the way you accomplish your goals. Whether you visit the cafe Monday through Friday or if you just pop in occasionally, this pseudo workspace can be a fantastic location to focus and maximize your productivity. As you consider taking your work from home role out of the household, remember these helpful tips for working in a coffee shop:
1. Be Selective With Your Cafe Choices
Not all cafes cater to remote workers. While technically any space with a table and WiFi could be an adequate setting for you to work or study, some coffee shops cater to a different clientele, such as groups or grab-and-go customers. Find a cafe with comfortable seating, a strong WiFi connection, available electrical outlets and an environment that creates a perfect space to focus on your work or schoolwork.
2. Dress Appropriately
While we don't suggest you wear your business professional clothes to the cafe, we do recommend you dress appropriately. You want to wear clothing you'll feel comfortable in for long periods, but you should also make sure you're looking presentable. If you're going to be using a cafe for a workspace frequently, dressing respectfully will show you appreciate the opportunity to use the space. Consider bringing a jacket as well, just in case the building has strong air conditioning.
3. Come Ready to Work
When are you most productive during the day? One benefit of working from home is that you may have flexibility in your daily schedule. We suggest getting your morning routine out of the way before you head to the cafe. Relax, have breakfast, exercise — cross off these daily to-dos, so you're in work-mode by the time you get to the coffee shop.
4. Pick a Specific Seat
When you arrive at the coffee shop, find a seat where you can comfortably work without inconveniencing other customers or staff members. Keep your belongings relatively organized and contained in your area. Be mindful of how far the seat is from the nearest electrical outlet as well — having your power cord stretched across the cafe floor is dangerous and rude.
5. Plan, Organize and Set a Limit
By the time you open up your laptop, you should already have an agenda for the duration of your stay. Before each cafe trip, plan what you need to accomplish and organize all the materials you need, so you're prepared to work as soon as you arrive. Try not to be too ambitious with your goals, though. The cafe may be busier than normal on any given day, which could lead to limited seating or distractions that prevent you from optimal productivity.
Remaining flexible will help you form your schedule around external factors like noise or the number of other customers. Setting a limit is also essential for keeping yourself level-headed and relaxed during your visit. You'll accomplish more of your to-do list if you're in a clear and calm mindset rather than a chaotic one.
6. Learn How to Take Productivity Breaks
One of the best ways to be productive is to stop being productive. Taking breaks from studying and working is proven to lessen fatigue, enhance creativity and increase motivation. Just be sure not to take too many pauses, as that can bring your productivity to a halt.
7. Invest in Helpful Resources
A pair of headphones is a necessity for anyone working remotely from a coffee shop. Other tools can help you maximize your productivity and focus, as well. A wireless mouse makes computer navigation easier while occupying little space. Instead of hogging two electrical outlets, bring a power bank for your phone or use a USB to charge it from the laptop. As always, a pen and a notepad can also be simple yet effective resources for any workday.
8. Leave Your Phone on Silent or Airplane Mode
Unless you need to be immediately available to speak to your employer or clients, we suggest putting your phone on silent or airplane mode. There will be enough distractions in the cafe and on the internet — the temptation to use your phone is one you can easily remove from your focus.
9. Interact With Others on Occasion
Chances are high you won't be the only individual studying or working remotely in the cafe. If you see others often occupying the same time slot as you, introduce yourself. This study location offers a great way to network with others who may be in similar classes or industries. It's another excellent reason why students study in coffee shops — these spots provide ample opportunity to meet others.
Get to know your barista team as well. They'll be the faces you see most often. Knowing more than just their names will help you build a better working relationship with them.
10. Treat This Workspace Like Your Job Site
The worst thing you can do is approach working or studying in a coffee shop with the same social mindset you would when visiting the cafe with friends. When you arrive, treat this visit as if you were clocking in for a job. Stay on task, use your time wisely and refrain from becoming too distracted.
10 Etiquette Rules to Follow While Doing Work at a Coffee Shop
Working remotely from a coffee shop offers you the power to complete tasks from anywhere in the world. Before you get too comfortable, keep in mind that a coffee shop isn't your office. While you use the cafe as a workspace, you must be mindful of everyone else around you — customers and employees alike. There's an unspoken etiquette you should follow when doing work at a coffee shop.
Remember these ten rules next time you visit a coffee shop for remote work:
1. Ask for Permission
Before you set up shop, it's a good idea to see if you're allowed to work there. While most cafes will be perfectly happy to refill your cup while you do your tasks, others may not welcome long-term customers. When in doubt, be courteous and ask permission before getting comfortable. If the staff or owner seems to be unhappy with remote workers using the space, consider rotating to another coffee shop that welcomes you.
2. Pay for the Privilege
When it comes to productivity and remote work, finding a comfortable cafe to complete your daily workload is invaluable — but you shouldn't think it comes without a price. You can use coffee shops as workspaces, but they are businesses first and foremost. Order more than just the lowest-priced item, reorder something every hour or so and leave a tip for the barista or staff member.
3. Stay in One Seat Throughout Your Visit
When you're working remotely from a coffee shop, you should refrain from switching seats often. When you arrive, find a cozy, out-of-the-way place to sit and try to stay there until you leave. Although it may be necessary for you to switch seats closer to an electrical outlet, try to limit your movement whenever possible.
4. Share Your Outlet or Table Space With Others
If you're comparing the benefits of working or studying in coffee shops or libraries, we will admit that a library is often more equipped to handle larger groups of students or employees. However, many coffee shops have adapted to the increase in remote employees. If you're in a bustling cafe that feels more like a community workspace, share your electrical outlet and table space with others. Being a friendly "co-worker" will also give you a positive reputation with the staff.
5. Give Others Space When They're Working or Reading
Although you may strike up a conversation with staff members or others sitting in the coffee shop, we caution that you shouldn't get too chatty. Others who are doing work at a coffee shop, reading for pleasure or simply enjoying a moment with their cup of joe may not be interested in distracting discussions.
6. Be Respectful and Discrete With Your Business
If you're conducting business while working from a coffee shop, be respectful and discrete — to those around you and your employer and clients as well. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) and a privacy screen on your computer, so you don't share any sensitive information with others. You should also refrain from having phone conversations in the cafe if they'll last more than a few minutes.
7. Avoid Making a Mess
Whether you order a coffee and a snack or eat a few full meals at the cafe, do your best not to make a mess. If you do, be courteous and clean up as much as you can.
8. Refrain From Asking Others to Watch Your Stuff for Longer Than a Quick Bathroom Break
You can expect to take a few bathroom breaks during your time in the coffee shop. In this case, it's acceptable to ask the staff or someone sitting close by to keep an eye on your belongings while you make a quick trip to the restroom. However, you shouldn't leave your belongings unattended for any other reason. If you need to exit the cafe, don't ask others to watch your stuff. Pack it up and bring it back with you when you return.
9. Avoid Overstaying Your Welcome
Unless you plan on ordering a significant amount of food over a few hours, it's best not to overstay your welcome. In many instances, cafe owners won't be bothered if you keep to yourself, order occasional coffees and spend late morning until early evening quietly working in the back. However, some may be unhappy if you take up one of their few tables all day. If the cafe gets crowded and new customers have nowhere to sit, consider leaving.
10. When in Doubt, Always Follow House Rules
Although the unspoken rules of cafe etiquette are unofficial, you'll notice that many students and professionals working from a coffee shop all adhere to them. In some cases, cafes will have their own house guidelines. If you notice others following — or not following — the general etiquette above, always defer to the house rules. When in doubt, ask the barista what is and isn't acceptable.
Work From Home at Barnie's Coffee & Tea
Looking for a space where you can be productive while sipping on amazing coffee? We invite you to visit our cafe in Winter Park, Florida. Along with our micro-roasts and specialty drinks, we also have a scratch kitchen menu to fuel you for the day. Or, select from our rotating list of local beers and wines to wind down when your work is complete.