Coffee shops are one of the favorite places to work remotely: They’re usually near wherever you are, with comfortable chairs and tables, they tend to have wifi besides bathrooms, offering you delicious coffee as often as needed.
Read on to find out how you can find good coffee shops suitable for remote work no matter where you are.
Criteria for Good Coffee Shops for Remote Work
Not every coffee shop is well-suited for remote work. Before visiting, scope out the place online by looking through photos and reading reviews. Here are some aspects you should look for:
- Strong, reliable wifi connection
- Outlets or people using their laptops in photos
- Free wifi
- In a good location and easy to get to
- Doesn’t restrict how long you can stay
- Quiet atmosphere
- Workspaces such as small tables or a large community table
Guidelines to Follow When At Coffee Shops to Work Remotely
Coffee shops are primarily intended for people to meet with friends and enjoy a cup of coffee. Although baristas will rarely tell you you can’t work from their establishment, make sure you are being respectful of other patrons when you choose coffee shops to work remotely from.
1. Buy something to eat or drink during your stay, and make a few purchases if you are staying a long time.
The coffee shop is a business. Don’t bring a travel cup with your own coffee or tea and expect to sit at a table for four hours. Purchase something every couple hours during your stay. Consider grabbing lunch or breakfast if your coffee shop offers it.
2. Be friendly to the baristas.
Offer a friendly smile or a nice tip to the baristas, especially if you plan on taking up a table for a few hours. Some establishments only offer free internet for a short period of time, but if you make friends with the staff they might be more likely to give you free internet for the day. If your coffee shop offers free refills on certain drinks, try to wait until there is no line before you ask for a refill.
3. Respect the other patrons and consider visiting in off-peak hours.
Remember that other people are using the coffee shop as well. There are many advantages to choosing off-peak hours: there will be more available tables and outlets, the service will be better, your wait will be shorter, and you won’t have to worry as much about overstaying your welcome.
Try not to take up a large amount of space and be sure to clean up after yourself. If you must use an outlet to charge up your laptop, try to unplug when your battery is at 100% so that others can access it.
Realize that other patrons may be making noise as they talk to each other, so bring along a pair of noise-canceling headphones. If you have to take a call, try to keep your voice down.
4. Use the appropriate size table or workspace.
If you are sitting by yourself, choose a small table and leave any extra chairs free for others to take. Some coffee shops have a long community table where you can sit with other individuals who are working. Try not to spread everything out on the table, and keep some things in your bag until you need them so they are not in anyone’s way.
How to Find Coffee Shops for Digital Nomads
You know what to look for in a coffee shop and how to make the best impression once you are there. There are a few ways to find coffee shops to work remotely from.
1. Curated Lists
Many other remote workers have already created lists of coffee shops for digital nomads. For example, digital nomads in Singapore can use LadyIronChef’s list of cafes with free wifi.
Remote workers currently in Bangkok who are looking for late night cafes and free wifi can look through BK’s list of Bangkok coffee shops. Bring your laptop and grab a latte from any one of the London coffee shops on this list by Londonist.
If you are in a particular city for a length of time and have explored multiple coffee shops, consider making your own list and publishing it as a resource for other digital nomads.
2. Remote Work Place Finders
There are multiple websites that can help you find coffee shops for remote work. Search for a coffee shop near you, or plan out your possible workspaces at your next destination.
3. Local Services Apps
Search local services apps such as Yelp, Google Maps, and TripAdvisor to find coffee shops near you that offer at least some of the criteria mentioned above. Read through the reviews other people have written to make sure that the coffee shop will suit your needs.
Feel free to leave your own reviews and photos of coffee shops you work remotely from, so that other digital nomads can decide if it will be a good workspace for them.
Whenever possible, consider taking the time to improve the resources available for digital nomads by adding reviews or recommendations for your favorite coffee shops. This will improve the accuracy of search results for other remote workers looking for coffee shops to work from.
It’s time to look for a coffee shop to work from
Working from a coffee shop is a great way for remote working professionals to get out of the house while still getting work done.
You can find coffee shops for remote work through curated lists of local coffee shops, online review sites such as Yelp, or by searching for coffee shops near you with one of the many websites designed for finding workspaces for digital nomads.
When you find a coffee shop that has free, strong wifi, a quiet environment, and plenty of outlets, be sure you are respectful of the baristas and other patrons. Try not to take up too much space or make lots of noise, clean up after yourself, and tip well.