The majority of people who have worked remotely for an extended period will agree that the novelty of working from home can wear off pretty quickly. Productivity slips away even faster, and procrastination takes on a whole new meaning.
With no proper routine and little reason to change out of your PJ’s, the line between relaxing and working becomes a little hazy. All of a sudden cleaning the bathroom, taking the dog for a walk or colour coding your wardrobe becomes more important than writing back to that pending email.
However, the work still needs to get done, and this means nights are increasingly spent working until 11 pm. The good news is, these days; people can work from incredible cowork spaces and beautiful cafes. Cowork spaces can often be expensive, and cafes are free, making them a popular option.
The trick is to make sure you’re following café etiquette to ensure you can stay all day and keep coming back.
Here are our top 5 tips:
1. Buy Something
We think it goes without saying that if you’re going to work from a cafe, you need to buy something. The amount of time you plan to spend at the cafe will help to determine how much you should pay.
We’re not saying you need to have a steady flow of coffee and croissants delivered to your table for the duration of the time you’re working, but if you plan to be there for the day, one coffee won’t cut it.
It’s important to remember that you’re taking up a space that could potentially be occupied by many customers throughout the day. Therefore, it’s a good idea to buy something small every 1.5 – 2 hours.
Alternatively, you could order a coffee or tea in the morning and a more substantial meal for lunch a few hours later. Either way, as long as you spend around 7 or 8 pounds throughout the day, your cafe staff should be pretty happy.
2. Don’t Hog the Powerpoints
Have you ever been to a cafe and someone has their laptop charger stretched across the floor? Not only is this annoying for the staff and customers, but it’s also a safety hazard.
Cafes can be bustling and fast-paced places with hot coffees left, right and centre. The staff shouldn’t have to be dodging cords and leads while they are serving customers.
To avoid the battle for the powerpoint, fully charge your laptop before you arrive. Hopefully, your battery will last all day, but if it doesn’t aim to sit as close to the powerpoint as possible.
3. No Loud Phone Calls
If you’re going to the same cafe regularly, it may start to feel as if it is your office. It’s important always to remember that you’re in a place where people have to come to relax and catch up with friends.
A loud and boring business call is the last thing someone wants to hear when they’re at brunch, ready to dig into their poached eggs.
If you have a phone meeting or need to hold a phone interview, a cafe isn’t the place. This is when cowork spaces come in handy, they’re set up to accommodate professionals, and it’s acceptable to partake in phone meetings.
4. Use the Community Table
If you’re arriving at the cafe first thing in the morning, it might be tempting to take the best seat in the house. Unfortunately, this falls under the line of lousy cafe etiquette.
Aim to avoid the tables set for two or four people, as it’s likely that these tables will be hot property when people start rolling in for breakfast and lunch. Instead, set yourself up at one of the large community tables.
These tables are perfect for people who are on their own or are working. Just be mindful of the other people occupying the community table and don’t spread pens and paper all over the space.
5. Befriend Your Barista
Befriending your cafe staff is possibly one of the most important unwritten rules of cafe etiquette. If the team are going to be seeing your face every day, they deserve to see a friendly one.
A lot of contractors and freelancers complain that working from a remote location can be lonely, so making friends at the cafe is a win-win situation. A smile and a little small talk can go a long way, and if you form a positive relationship, you can keep coming back.
Our final tip? Don’t forget to leave a tip yourself!