Since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve decided to spend most of my free time learning a skill, reading more, and blogging. However, I have to admit that it’s been tough. Working remotely from home is great and all but it quickly gets mundane and there’s a ton of distractions. Rolling out of bed, hair all disheveled, and barely dressed doesn’t always create the best work environment. At least, it doesn’t create the best environment for me. Some persons I know function well under these circumstances. For me, when I look and smell great, I feel great. When I feel great, I do great work.
If you’ve read my earlier posts, you know that I’m not much a coffee drinker. I would much rather enjoy matcha, preferably dairy-free (I forgot to mention that). If you missed my “Coffee or matcha?” post, check it out here.
So then, what am I doing in a coffee shop? Certainly, not drinking coffee! I love an aesthetically pleasing work environment with beautiful music. Do you know where fits this description? A coffee shop! Doughnut shops are cute too. I could sit there for hours reading or tapping the keys on my laptop like there’s no tomorrow. After all, what else can I do but work? I purposely leave the earphones at home so I can’t listen to my own music, I can’t watch YouTube videos, I can’t watch Netflix, or anything like that. My bed isn’t a few feet away so I can’t just crawl in with my phone. There’s nothing else to do but listen to the music provided and work. Side note, one evening, I caught myself grooving to the sweet sounds of the Melodians, Bob Marley, Althea & Donna, and more. With each new song, I thought to myself, “who told them the Jamaican was in here?”. I loved it!
Things to bear in mind when working remotely from a coffee shop.
- You might need to walk with your own WiFi. Not all coffee shops offer free WiFi. Even if they do, you know that for reasons of privacy and security, it’s not really recommended unless you have a VPN or other ways of securing yourself.
- Ensure your devices are fully charged (cell phone, tablet, laptop, and power bank). Primarily, a coffee shop isn’t a coworking space. Therefore, they are not always equipped with power sources. My advice is to charge everything beforehand. I normally just work until my laptop goes into low power mode.
- Actually support the business. If you’re gonna be there for hours, please buy more than just ONE cup of coffee. Lucky for me, coffee shops sell more than just coffee so I have options.
- Don’t stay there all day long. If what you’re looking for is an office, check out an actual coworking spot. Other patrons who would want to sit and enjoy their drink/meal can’t do so if you’re just there hogging all the seats everyday.
- Use headphones if you’ll be listening to audio from your devices. It’s a common courtesy. The coffee shop is a whole vibe. Don’t disrupt the vibe! The mood is already set with the coffee shop’s music so when you add whatever you’re listening to, we can’t focus.
- Mix it up, if you can. Check out other coffee shops. While the overall experience may be similar, each shop has its own characteristics and uniqueness that you can enjoy.
- Not all coffee shops are conducive to working. Some coffee shops are louder and more chaotic than others. Also, from my own experience, some coffee shops have a smoking section. The air-con carries the smoke particles around so that is a major turn-off for me (who remembers Brownian Motion from chemistry class?).
On a social tip…
You can meet like-minded people in coffee shops. While I haven’t actually met or spoken to any of these like-minded people, I bet they’re in there. There’s just so much productivity happening. It’s cool seeing how everyone is just working on their own projects, studying, reading, or whatever else they’re doing in there.
On a COVID-19 tip…
Please be safe. Observe the protocols by wearing your mask and not sitting directly next to anyone. Quite likely, there will be some sort of guide where seating is concerned. Take heed. It’s also a good idea to walk with your own sanitizers (for your hands and surfaces). Lastly, wash your hands! Please don’t rely solely on a hand sanitizer.
If you’ve never tried working remotely from a coffee shop, try it out. If you have, do you like the experience? Do you have any other points to be mindful of? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time.