The flo-working revolution brought many changes to the way we work and how we spend our days. A big percentage of the modern workforce is no longer commuting to an office, they work from anywhere. This anywhere could be a desk at home, the sofa, a table by the beach, a coworking space or a coffee shop. If you walk through a town centre, you will see plenty of laptop workers filling cafés. Here are our top tips on how to work in a café.

Tip 1: Choosing the right coffee shop workspace

Lots of workspaces you find here on Othership are coffee shops and we have selected them carefully, so you’ll know what to expect: tables of the right height, power plugs, stable Wi-Fi and coffee! These are the most important aspects and of course you also want to keep an eye out on opening hours and the location. You can filter for these options and more in our workspace search. If you’re out and about scouting a café to work from on your own, those are the minimum criteria to look out for:

  • Proper tables to sit on so that you’re not forced to hunch your back
  • Power plugs to keep your laptop charged
  • Stable Wi-Fi; if you’re in a new coffee shop that you find by yourself, we recommend testing it before you get on a Zoom call in that place.

If you’re regularly working from different coffee shops with public Wi-Fi, we also recommend a VPN for increased cybersecurity.

Woman with laptop in a coffee shop on a phone call

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Tip 2: Have all your gadgets at hand

When we go to an office or work from our desk at home, we have a permanent work setup. You might have a separate screen, camera and microphone for virtual meetings, keyboard and mouse, a laptop raiser and anything else you might need. That’s a luxury you don’t get when you’re out and about, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have it. Here’s a list of things flo-workers like to have with them:

  • Laptop charger: We don’t need to tell you that this is the most important thing to bring.
  • Separate monitor: It looks like a tablet and depending on how much you’d like to spend, you can get one that doesn’t need a separate power supply either and connects easily to your laptop.
  • Extension lead with multiple plugs: In case you’ll have to sit a bit further away from the power plug or would like to charge laptop and phone at the same time (when travelling abroad, you also want an adaptor for the power plug)
  • Headset: With a good headset, you always make sure the person on the other end of a video call can hear you well and you are not bothering the people sitting around you.
  • Reusable coffee cup and refillable water bottle: In most coffee shops, you get a real mug, but in case you’re not, you can use your own mug. Your coffee will taste better than from a paper cup, you won’t create additional waste and sometimes, you even get a discount.
  • Optional: Mouse, USB hub, mini whiteboard, sticky notes, or anything else you might need for your work

Tip 3: Background noise and images

The biggest concern most remote workers have when working from a coffee shop is the noise. Some need it to spark their creativity, others prefer a quiet work environment. You will find information about this when you book your café workspace on Othership. For all other cases, we recommend noise cancelling headphones and a good microphone for calls. Sometimes coffee shops also have a quiet corner where you can sit.

If you’re having video calls, the background might also be of importance, and you want to choose wisely where you’ll sit in the coffee shop. Most video call software nowadays also has a filter that you can apply to your background, and you don’t have to worry about your surroundings as much anymore.

A laptop on a table with view in a coffee shop, a coffee and a pastry

Photo by Daria Shevtsova

Tip 4: Be respectful of others

When working from a coffee shop, remember that you’re not alone there and not everybody around you might be working. You should only use the space you need, don’t take a huge table for yourself with all your things lying around. Only use the power plugs you need. Sometimes both, laptop and phone, need charging, but keep it to a minimum and unplug them once charged. If you have an extension lead, perfect! You might also be able to charge your phone on your laptop and use only one power plug in the wall.

Being respectful also means that you keep your own noise levels under control. We sometimes have reasons to laugh in meetings, but you shouldn’t be shouting into your laptop on a video call.

When you leave the coffee shop after your work is done, don’t leave a big mess on the table. If you’re in a café with self-service, put your mug in the tray when you leave.

Tip 5: Going to the restroom

This is another big concern of remote workers in coffee shops: What if I have to go to the restroom? Your best option is to make friends or to join a community like Othership. By having a coworking buddy, you’ll have somebody you can trust to look for your things whilst your gone. If you’re regularly going to the same coffee shop, you might get to know some of the other laptop workers and you can ask somebody to watch out for your things. In smaller, quiet coffee shops, you can also ask the waiter to keep an eye out, but make sure you’re not interrupting their workflows!

Some of our flo-workers also like to change location after a few hours or get a coffee refill. That is a good opportunity to pack up, go to the restroom and then move to another coffee shop.

A cafe latte next to a laptop

Photo by Pixabay

Tip 6: Don’t overstay your welcome

When working from a café, we need to keep in mind that the coffee shop is also a business and you’re using their facilities. It is good etiquette to buy at least a coffee when you come in. Our free workspaces allow you to use the space without the requirement of a purchase, but please don’t bring your own food and drinks! With Othership, you also find offers for unlimited coffee or discounts to keep you recharged and hydrated throughout the workday.

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