Working from a Café

Working for a company that offers you flexibility in where you work is becoming a growing trend – technology advancements have now made it possible to complete all your allocated tasks from your very own computer, without having to step foot into an office. This saves a lot of time on the daily commute and gives you more time to focus and complete your work on your terms.

The most important thing is to ensure your work environment is free of distractions, but often you will find a change of scenery can help increase your productivity.

There are some who like the comforts of working from their own home. There are others who go to their local library. Then there are those who like the hustle and bustle of their local café. Filled with a collective of suits, coffee-fiends and foodies alike.

Whether it be for a video conference call or simply work as usual all you need is a strong WIFI connection to start you off and voila! These days most cafes offer a free connection when you grab a coffee, however these days you can even hotspot to your phone efficiently with the improvement of 4g, and 5g rolling out. With that you have your temporary office set up for the day! Not only do cafes offer comfortable seating for the duration of your stay, but there are also a wide range of refreshments available should you be in dire need a bit of a pick-me-up.

Word to the wise, if you plan on staying a few hours, you can get on the good side of café workers and order something a bit more substantial (more than one drink) while you are there. There are some cafes who can get a bit iffy about long-stayers, who don’t spend a great deal of money and are cheekily eating up the WIFI and taking up the valuable space for other well paying customers.

It is important to exercise a bit of care and consideration when choosing an area of the café to sit in. Try to stay away from overly populated areas such as, near the door or in the middle of the café. The most ideal place would be a position by the wall, perhaps in the corner, where you can have an element of privacy. Proximity to other tables may not affect you, but at peak times, especially lunch hour or happy hour, the noise may prove to be a bit overwhelming and affect the level of work you produce. If you can handle the noise, then that’s great, otherwise noise-cancelling headphones would be the next best thing.

To ensure you aren’t causing a disturbance to other café patrons, I would suggest against making any important phone calls or video calls. There is a time and place for this and these types of conversations are better done in a quieter and more private setting. The last thing you want to have is someone overhear your conversation with some details that may be classed as confidential to an individual.

One thing to note is that there are certain cafes that have a specific time restrictions regarding WIFI usage or how long one can stay, often depending on occupancy numbers. You may find that some cafes are only open during specific times and you may need to look elsewhere for somewhere to go when they close up for the day.

It’s also important to remember the safety and security of your work equipment when you need to use the bathroom facilities or grab some more refreshments.

Most places are pretty secure with a low-level risk of theft so you could leave everything as is and step away briefly. I personally wouldn’t do so, but there are others who feel completely comfortable doing this. I guess if you keep a watchful eye on your belongings, this might work.

Also, once you have become a regular and have become quite friendly with the staff and customers, leaving your things won’t be an issue and you can rest assured, will be under the watchful eye of those around you. If, however, you have something of value, it might pay to pack everything up and bring it with you. The risk to doing so, means you could possibly lose the table and find it is occupied with new people on your return.

On the other hand, you could always ask a neighbouring table to watch over your things while you are away. Most people are more than happy to watch over your things. Just be very mindful of the time you are away, you don’t want to be of an inconvenience to anyone.

Some of the well-known cafes that offer a good WIFI connection include: Gloria Jeans, Starbucks, Shaky Isles and Mojo. If you want to know of other locations, check out: https://workfrom.co/

Cafes are also good places to hold informal meetings or have a catchup with colleagues. Remember to book in advance if you are in a bigger group and if so let the café know if there are any catering requirements just to give them a heads up. Try and schedule meetings like this when it’s quieter so as to avoid busy times and overloading the café workers.

With remote working on the rise, location is everything and if used properly, can prove to be a viable option allowing you a bit more freedom in your work lifestyle. Although at times you can feel lonely and a bit isolated from the team, clever applications such as Nowbridge, open up those doors and has been designed to keep you connected with your team.