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What to Consider If You Are Working Remotely in A Coffee Shop or Café

Coffee shops attract a wide range of people, whether they’re looking to refuel, take some time out of their day for a little relaxation or hide from the weather outside, we all have a reason to go there. Often, you see someone engrossed in a book, couples catching up on their lunch breaks or groups of friends having a good ol’ catch up. But now, more often than not, when you walk into a coffee shop, you’ll be greeted by at least one guest who has chosen the humble café as their remote office for the day. Whether you like it or not, it is highly likely this café revolution is here to stay, so we mustn’t grumble too much!

People working remotely in a café

If you’re reading this and you are thinking, ‘that’s me’, then my quick-read guide should help you to feel more relaxed in the café you’ve chosen, and if it doesn’t, it may be time to find an alternative. There are many coffee shops and cafes that welcome workers and will appreciate your repeat custom, especially through the quieter months, so if you can find somewhere you like, and the business appreciates you being there- the match is perfect!

Table Churning

Before rushing in and getting your laptop out on your first visit, sit for a while, order a couple of drinks and try to determine whether or not it is a table churning establishment. Many cafes face a high rent and if they don’t get as many bums on seats as possible in a day, they will struggle to pay their bills. Others are more than willing and in fact, quite happy for you so sit back and spend more than an hour. Once you have differentiated this, you’ll feel much more comfortable.

Buy Something, Often

Buying a drink or something to eat at least once an hour should really go without saying, but often, remote workers will have one black Americano to last the whole morning. Whether the establishment is table churning or not, it is only polite to invest a little in your office for the day. I’m not talking tap water here either, treat yourself to something delicious and make it worthwhile for the café allowing you to have the table for a day.


Although it’s not necessary, if you have a regular spot, it’s a nice gesture to tip every now and again. It’ll show the staff that you appreciate being there, their service, the atmosphere as well as the food and drink. When you keep returning to a place, the staff will begin to get to know your face, what you like to drink and eat, all contributing to a more personal experience, a tip is a small price to pay for a home-away-from-home office!

Table Etiquette

Working in a coffee shop is not like being at home or in the office. You can’t spread your worksheets out across the desk, or hang your coat on the chair next to you. It’s important to consider other guests, try to keep your space looking tidy. Leave your coat on the back of your own chair and save reviewing your paperwork for when you get home.

Taking a business call in a café is also considered a no-go. If you get a call, try to take it outside and if you do have to stay indoors try and speak a little quieter than usual. Most guests are in there for leisure and they don’t want their precious time-off distracted by another guest call.

Being aware and courteous of those around you is vital, as many visitors will be there to relax and unwind. It’ll create a much more comfortable environment if you can consider the interests and wants of others, self-awareness goes a long way here.

Wi-Fi and Electricity

Although many cafes have free Wi-Fi, this doesn’t mean you should start downloading the series you want to watch later or uploading and downloading a load of stuff. The Wi-Fi is for every guest and the bill may not be unlimited or capped!

Electricity is also something to consider, it costs the owner of the café for you to charge your phone, laptop, battery pack, camera and anything else that needs extra juice! Be sure to charge your electronics at home and if you really need a boost while you are out, only use as much as is necessary!

What are your tips for working remotely in a café or coffee shop? Let me know via my social media channels!

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