Last Updated on January 11, 2023
It’s great to be independent and work from your own office or home. But sometimes you need a break from the routine, a place where no one will disturb you, and where there is a decent cup of coffee! There is something special about working remotely on your laptop from a café or restaurant. Even if there is noise buzzing around you, a restaurant can still give you the sense that you are in your own little bubble and working undisturbed.
Some people love working from a restaurant or café while others can’t think of anything worse. But if you are one of those workaholic coffee lovers who are lucky enough to have the option to pick up your laptop and go, then read on. Here are some tips about how to choose the perfect restaurant or café as your temporary office.
To Work From a Restaurant you Have to Have WiFi
If you’re going to work in a restaurant or cafe that you haven’t been to before or that you haven’t worked in before, make sure you ask if they have wifi before you even sit down. There is nothing worse than opening up your laptop, settling in, and then having to say sorry I need to go because there is no wifi. It is especially awkward if you have ordered a coffee already, and then you abandon the restaurant in search of a stronger signal! One alternative is to use the mobile hotspots from your mobile phone, but if you don’t have to use your mobile data, why do it?
No Electrical Outlets Means No Work
Check whether your chosen work venue for the day had electric outlets close to the tables. And make sure you sit at one of those tables from the start. It’s terrible when you have to stand up in the middle of your restaurant “work session” and gather up all your bits and pieces to move to a table closer to an electric outlet because your laptop battery is about to die! The restaurant or café must have electric outlets, and they must be close to where you’re sitting.
You’ll Want to Spread Out So You’ll Need a Large Table
It is possible to work on a small table but when you have a laptop it is not ideal. So if you have the option of choosing which restaurant to work in, choose one with decent-sized tables. Balancing coffee, papers, and a laptop on a small table is a recipe for disaster. Choose a restaurant where you can spread out, and enjoy both your coffee and your work.
Your Restaurant of Choice Must Have Comfortable Chairs (Or Restaurant Booths)
There is no point in going to work in a café or restaurant for a few minutes. When you do settle into a café or restaurant to work on your computer, make sure there are comfortable seats. You won’t be able to sit still for long if the café has hard, flat, metal chairs. A cushion or padded seat makes a big difference when you plan to sit there for the entire afternoon or morning. And if you’re fortunate you’ll find a quiet eatery that has restaurant booths. Comfortable restaurant booths are more spacious, and you’ll have more privacy.
Go Where There is an Inviting Atmosphere
It’s true that you could probably work from any restaurant or café. But some are more inviting than others. If you’ve chosen a high-end restaurant then it is good manners to ask if it is ok to work on your laptop in their establishment. If you’re embarrassed to ask then simply ask if they have wifi, and indicate your laptop.
You’ll find that busier casual restaurants or cafes are the most inviting to remote workers. The staff will be too busy to worry about you, but on the other hand, they might get annoyed that you are taking up a whole table that could be used by (better) paying customers. This brings us to the next point.
Ideal Volume of Foot traffic For Laptop-Friendly Restaurants or Cafes
A completely empty restaurant or café will not appreciate the fact that their only customer is there to use the wifi, and drink one or two coffees. A busy restaurant will need all the space they can get for customers. And the quicker customers eat, pay the bill, and move on, the more customers the restaurant can serve. So if you are sitting at one of their precious tables for an hour or three, it might be frowned upon.
There are a few ways to tackle this. Firstly, ask if it is ok for you to sit and work on your laptop. Secondly, take the smallest table. Thirdly, order more than a coffee. And finally, show your appreciation by leaving a generous tip. A busy restaurant with plenty of tables won’t mind you being there and they will probably ignore you to the point where you get frustrated from caffeine withdrawal.