Coffee Shop Etiquette: How To Work Stress Free in a Coffee Shop

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“But we have been here for 2 hours with only one coffee!” the guy in front of me exclaimed.


When I say the guy in front of me, I should correct myself to the guy who rudely pushed in front of me to then go on to create a whole ordeal and to hold up the ever-growing line.


I ultimately did not understand his thought process.


It became apparent that the ‘gentleman’ in question had been working with his laptop for around 2 hours and was annoyed that the barista had not offered a free refill.


He was more frustrated when the poor barista explained that they do not do free refills.


I really didn't understand why he felt that he should be entitled to a second cup and another 2 hours of working space for the price of an Americano.


And this experience was the inspiration behind this post.


As a 100% remote working cloud accountancy firm, you can rightly assume that we work from coffee shops a fair bit.


We love to do so, but there are some unspoken rules when it comes to working in coffee shops. I mean it's more like etiquette.  I think many people forget the fact that it is a business too.


So whether you are a frequent coffee shop worker or a newbie, I am going to share with you the unspoken coffee shop etiquette.



Headphones are a must.


Headphones are a must. Do not be that person watching a load of videos on full volume. And no, I do not want to hear Carole banging on about KPI’s that CLEARLY do not matter to you. Get earphones.


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It is not your office.


It is not your office. Do not splay out with a hella load of papers. You ideally should be paperless.


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Wires are a HUGE health and safety issue.


Be mindful of your wires. Remember that this is a place where people are continually coming in and out. I usually like to tuck in a corner somewhere so I (ideally) can sit cable snug under my chair.


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Phone calls- yes or no?


Phone calls are ok. That is unless you are somewhere that strictly prohibits it. Just be super careful that you are not talking about super confidential information.





Your order


The amount you order. Oh yes, this is one that is arguably one of the most notable points. In fact, if you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this…


Remember, like I said,  a coffee shop is a business too, so if you want your favourite spot to remain open, do not just go and order one americano and nurse it for the next 7 hours.


Here is a general rule:

It is not the amount you order but rather the value.


So for example, if you are someone who loves black filter coffee then order one at least every hour or two. If you are going for a full brunch/lunch/ meal etc. you, of course, do not need to be purchasing something like that every hour.


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The 5 Minute Rule


I totally get it, you need to go to the toilet or to make another order, so if you are blessed with a kind person that is happy to keep watch for a little while then that's great. But by asking that person to look after your stuff, doesn't mean it is guaranteed to be safe. If you have valuables, chuck them in a tote bag and leave the items such as your book or jumper to 'save your space' while you order more.


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But do not lose the fun in it.


Sure it seems there are lots of rules, but most of them are just about being a decent human being!


The last thing I want to note is to go try working in a coffee shop now and then, especially if you are a solo business owner or a remote worker. The interaction and buzz will give you an excellent sense of creativity. But always be mindful of the owners and others. It is nice to be nice.





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About the author

Chloe Slade is the Marketing Manager here at Cone and focuses on creating content that brings business and lifestyle together. Chloe is keen makeup lover,  foodie and loves to work from luxurous destinations.