Not being tied to an office is awesome! Yet, it can get boring and even demotivating if you have nothing but yourself and your four walls for company. Why not start doing business from a local café instead? The perks are tempting, and no two workdays will ever be the same again! Read our guide to find out if doing so is a good fit & prepare for the change.

Is a Café the Right Fit for You?

Sipping a soy milk latte, hammering away at your laptop keyboard, and observing others as they work or relax during breaks sounds wonderful on paper. You get a change of scenery and may meet interesting acquaintances. Scientists even speak of the coffee shop effect, where the shop’s atmosphere contributes to people’s creative and productive potential.

There are cons to consider, though. The noisy atmosphere and high foot traffic might not be for everyone. Plus, ordering coffee and food can get expensive quickly. Your favorite café might not have enough outlets or comfortable seating for hours-long work sessions, either. Weigh the pros and cons of making a café your HQ first and find a balance that works best for you.

Coffee Shop Considerations

Not every café is ideal workplace material, meaning you’ll have to do some research. Some shops might not cater to remote workers and digital nomads, especially if they have many patrons and stand to make a loss if they let you use a table for hours. Ask the staff if they’re OK with your working there or see what others say about it on review sites.

Ideally, you’ll want to sit away from the entrance to get distracted less often. Look for seating close to power outlets and amenities so you don’t have to move around once you settle in.

Long workdays make for large appetites. Consider whether the café offers meals as well as beverages. Make sure the staff can accommodate any dietary restrictions or strong preferences. Since you’ll be spending time and money there, pick a coffee shop with reasonable prices.

Friendly staff isn’t a must, but it helps! Get to know the team responsible for your pleasant stay and start building relationships. They’ll be much more inclined to humor your requests and might occasionally go above and beyond in their service. Reward such efforts accordingly.

Gearing Up

Organization is a core part of any pleasant and productive coffee shop workday. Schedule daily tasks and note all the stuff you need beforehand. That way, you can come to the café and start working immediately.

What should you bring? Your work laptop, obviously, but other items help a lot. Groups of loud customers are bound to come in occasionally, so bring some noise-canceling headphones. You might not always be able to snag a booth next to a power outlet. Charge your devices beforehand and bring a powerbank, just in case.

Wardrobe-wise, wear something you’re comfortable in that’s still appropriate for a public environment. Sorry, that does not include PJs. You might also need to bring a light jacket if the only available seating happens to be under the AC.

Don’t forget about the digital essentials, either. Apart from all the tools you need to do your job, be extra careful about cybersecurity. The free Wi-Fi coffee shops offer isn’t a secure communication channel. Anyone with a little know-how could hack or set up a fake connection. Running a VPN will ensure all your data is encrypted and your internet activity remains private. When considering a VPN, choose popular and reliable options. Comparing services like Surfshark vs. NordVPN can help you determine which one best suits your needs.

While you’re at it, give your logins a once-over and install a good password manager for extra safety. The manager will generate one-of-a-kind passwords for all your personal and business accounts, keeping them safe in an encrypted vault. You may also deauthorize an associated device if someone steals it, preventing them from accessing credentials stored in the vault.

Café Etiquette 101

A café might quickly become your favorite workspace, but that doesn’t mean you own the place. You’ll be fine as long as you follow the unwritten rules, though.

It should go without saying, but don’t be a nuisance to yourself. Be respectful toward staff and other patrons, keep your surroundings tidy, and don’t hop from one seat to another. Don’t inconvenience others by taking up extra seating with your stuff or turning charging cables into tripwires.

It’s alright, and even encouraged to get to know folks during breaks. Just make sure you remain mindful of their needs and schedules. Keep noise levels down and step outside if you know you’ll be on the phone for a while. People won’t mind keeping an eye on your stuff while you answer nature’s call, but don’t demand the same courtesy if you leave for long periods.

Finally, learn when to call it quits. Frequently ordering coffee and food will help you stay in the staff’s good graces. Still, you’ll eventually want to leave, especially if more people start arriving while you’ve been hogging space for hours and don’t intend to buy anything more today.


Working from a café may just provide the change of scenery you need for more inspired and productive results. Now that you know more about what doing so entails, it’s time to go out there and become a regular!