How to do business from coffee shops without losing your mind but getting productive

It's not about convenience only. It turns out that working from a coffee shop can help you be a more productive leader.

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The idea of working at a coffee shop is very much alive. Especially in 2020, after COVID-19 has messed things up for everyone, most specialists started working remotely. Some just can’t focus on business when staying at home, looking for alternatives to try.

Why not consider coffee shops for this?

It’s not about convenience only. It turns out that working from a coffee shop can help you be a more productive leader.

Why? Three reasons.

First, most of us work better in coffee shops. Ironically, a coffee shop provides the kind of ambient background noise we need to focus. That setting has nothing in common with the regular and interrupting office noise, so it’s less distracting than working from onsite locations.

Second, having a small audience influences performance: people work better when they have someone to compete with. And it’s not about productivity only: meeting new people provides new ideas, different perspectives, and great networking, all of which spark insight.

And third, coffee shops supply endless amounts of caffeine to keep us going strong. Experts say it increases the serotonin level in our brains, helps us think more positively, and stimulates our memory.

Sure, you can’t do anything but show up at a coffee shop and expect productivity to boost magically. To get the most out of this environment, here’s your must-follow advice.

Basic rules to follow in coffee shops when working there

No matter what worker-friendly they might be, coffee shops are public places and, above all, businesses. So, if you don’t want to wear out your welcome, follow these basic rules.

  • Buy something every time. Order enough to justify your time there. Cold-brew could be your choice, especially if you spend a whole day there and order more than one cup. It’s 60% less acidic than typical coffee, and it keeps fresh for far longer.
  • Share your table. Be proactive on this one: don’t make other customers ask for permission to sit down. Invite them. As long as you bring your headphones, you can still work in relative peace.
  • Keep quiet. People come to coffee shops to work or enjoy their time, so the last thing they want to hear is your audio or video calls. The best decision would be to avoid them, but if it’s a must – either go outside or keep your voice down via headphones.

Things to take with you for better productivity

To ensure your productivity doesn’t suffer, here’s a list of musts:

  • Worker-friendly coffee shop. Ensure that a chosen coffee shop meets your needs and welcomes remote workers. Are there other people with laptops? Is the music too loud for you? Do they have free outlets and fast enough Wi-Fi?
  • Outlet. Before you plop yourself down and start digging in, make sure there’s an outlet near you. Don’t string your cord across walkways. That’s a surefire way to make yourself unwelcome, which will hurt your chances of getting anything done.
  • Headphones. On the creativity front, listen to music that inspires or helps you focus. Make a list of songs you love or choose from science-backed playlists that have the best impact on your time management and productivity. Even if you’re not listening to anything, headphones send the universal signal that you’re busy and not to be disturbed.
  • Placement. Choose a comfortable place. Sitting near the door or the register won’t help you focus. Neither do high traffic areas nor big temperature swings.

With all their perks, coffee shops are great places for creative and productive work. You can easily avoid the common pitfalls by merely following the advice above.

Oh, and one last thing:

Be sure to tip your barista.

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