As many people who work from home actually spend a lot of their day in cafes, it’s worthwhile laying a few ground rules for how to behave….
Using a café as a workplace can be a great way to make working from home more interesting and less isolating. But you have to remember that you’re using someone else’s place of business, so you should abide by a few rules…
Ask for permission
If you’re planning on staying for more than a few hours and will be setting up a laptop and note pad, then it’s always worth asking if it’s ok.
Bigger coffee shop chains won’t mind, but smaller independent cafes might have their own rules about people working on their premises.
Obey their rules
When asking if it’s ok, it’s also worth seeing if they’ve got their own guidelines.
Do they have a time limit? Do you have to pay for the Wifi password or buy something to get it? Do you only get internet access for a limited period? Check these before you buy your coffee and have committed yourself to staying there.
It’d be very cheeky to use a café for a day and only buy a coffee. The rule of thumb tends to be one purchase every couple of hours – whether that’s a coffee or a piece of cake. If you’re feeling over caffeinated, opt for decaf or tea.
Don’t take up two spots
Your laptop, bag, note pads, and other work-related materials can end up taking up a lot of space. If the cafe is quiet, feel free to put some on the seat next to you – but as soon as it starts to fill up, you’ll need to move your bits and bobs to the floor and make sure the table area you’re covering is minimised.
Watch the volume
Remember that not everyone there is working – some people have popped in for a relaxing coffee and the last thing they want to hear is you berating a colleague over the phone.
If you have to take a call, use headphones or go outside. With meetings, try and find a hidden away spot. If you need to watch a video, again, use your headphones.
One of the best ways to extend your stay in the café without upsetting the owners is to simply be nice. Make small talk when ordering, help people move around you if needs be and clear away your mess.
Avoid downloading too much
You won’t be the only person using the Wifi so don’t be greedy and take all the bandwidth downloading huge files.
If you need to do so, try using your phone’s data, doing it when the café is quite or downloading at home before heading to the cafe.
Finally, if you want to make this a regular occurrence, make sure you tip well. Consider it a surcharge for using their space, service and free Wifi for extended periods.
Posted by The Secret Businessman