When your office is a coffee shop…

I’m writing this post outdoors. I’m at one of my favourite coffee spots in Buderim on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and my view (see the pic above) from where I sit goes across a lot of green to the coast. One of my other fave spots to write is at Mooloolaba Surf Club – with the ocean right there in front of me. I know how lucky I am.

Because I work from home for the day job I tend to do most of my creative work away from home – it helps my brain separate the two very different types of work so that I can jump straight from corporate into creating. That means I spend a lot of time in coffee shops and cafes.

There are, however, some unwritten rules around working in coffee shops that you should follow if you don’t want to wear out your welcome.

1.Don’t sit there and drink the free water. I have a general rule of a coffee (or whatever) at least every hour.

2. Try and avoid the rush times. I tend to avoid cafes that I know have the Mum rush straight after school drop-offs and usually also steer clear of the busy breakfast and lunch rushes. This is especially the case on weekends when many places here on the coast do brunch. And yes, most of my writing work happens on the weekend.

3. If you are there at mealtime, order something to eat – especially if it’s a popular café. Otherwise, you’re depriving the owner of being able to fill your seat with a paying customer.

4. Never spread out across a big table. If there is a counter, I tend to use that or will select a table for two. I also try and sit out of the way of general traffic.

5. I try not to take long phone calls when I’m working in someone else’s space. If you can’t avoid the call, keep your voice down. Oh, and pop your phone on silent – even if, like me, you’re secretly a tad proud of your personalised ringtones.

6. Don’t sing along to the music – even if you do so at home (although every so often I do find my shoulders bopping up and down). Also even if the music being played is not to your taste, resist the urge to ask the owner to change their playlist or station. If you don’t like it, then find somewhere else to work.

7. If you’re there to work, don’t take your kids – or your animals – as you won’t be able to focus on keeping a proper eye on them. There is, of course, an exception for those exceedingly good dogs that are content to lie still under your feet – but only in dog-friendly cafes…

8. Don’t complain or do the loud heavy sighing and tsk tsk thing if other people – who aren’t there to work – distract you. If you don’t like a busy cafe or loud voices or noisy children, find somewhere else that’s quieter. Or put your earbuds in and listen to music. Your choice.

9. Keep an eye on what can be seen on your screen – especially if there are children around. Also be careful of audio files on social media.

10. Don’t abuse the free wi-fi. Just don’t. And, if things get busy and you’ve been there for a while, it’s probably time for you to vacate your spot to allow someone else to enjoy it.

11.  These days plenty of people find their favourite coffee shop via Instagram, so show a little social media love back to your coffee shop with a post or two.

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me. I’m on holiday at the moment, so apologies if I don’t get around to responding to comments.

8 Replies to “When your office is a coffee shop…”

  1. I don’t think I’d be able to work in a cafe Jo – it’s so noisy and busy and distracting. I’m a big OCD (my husband would say “a lot OCD”) and I’d be tsking away at everything. I love the peace of being home, but that’s because my day job is in an office and it’s busy and full-on. Being home is very mellowing for me. I thought you were in Paris atm – not a coffee shop in QLD!

  2. Some great tips there Jo! I like the idea of working from a coffee shop but haven’t tried it yet. I should try it though – because sometimes these 4 walls start to drive me batty!! #TeamLovinLife

  3. You know what, I don’t think I could concentrate enough to work in a coffee shop. However I did do it a couple of times when we were travelling in our caravan earlier in the year. But in a way I wish I could get out of my house more often, because working from home can also be a big distraction. #TeamLovinLife

  4. I was just thinking that most etiquette had gone by the wayside. The things people do nowadays makes me shake my head in disbelief!!
    This was so nice to read…now we just need to get the info out!!

  5. Coffee shops are often my office. Even at meal time when I order more than tea, it’s still cheap rent if you compare it to the cost of office space. Love it!

    Great tips by the way. Got to ensure you’re paying your rent by supporting the establishment.


  6. I haven’t worked in a coffee shop, but my kids have, and they say the very same things that you do. There is definitely an etiquette to follow. Good tips!

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