Life itself is only a vision – a dream…RSS
Do you remember the time when you first walked on the small business path? I bet having your own professional office seemed out of your world during this time because it seemed too corporate-y or too costly. Nowadays most startups usually hang out and work at the local coffee shop to get some grinding done. It even feels great to break away from your home office, and relaxing (working) at a coffee shop will be just the thing that’ll snap you back into productive mode. Now with the amount of coffee shop moochers steadily growing, the thin line between social grace and social mace is one you don’t want to dance on.
Keep your luggage light
So you might’ve doled out the pesos for that fancy laptop bag, and the idea of throwing it on the floor with the rest of the commoner’s bags makes you uneasy, but people having a place to sit is more important than worrying about a thing. Be ready to put your stuff on the floor when someone needs a seat, no wait, don’t even put your suitcase on a seat in the first place. It’s just good manners to make people feel like they don’t even have to ask for something that shouldn’t need asking for.
Think of others when it comes to using the coffee shop’s free wifi, and just stick to the bare bones of net usage (web/IM/email). You should be thankful that you’re even using free Internet in the first place, and show appreciation by not downloading 1080p torrents. I mean, c’mon, are you going to be “that guy” who makes it a pain for the rest of the people at the shop? It’s all about respect and consideration for others. You can do all the downloading, warezing, gaming, or porning at the apartment/house. If you keep up with the downloading, it’s only going to make the coffee shop enforce rules they don’t want to enforce in the first place.
Buy something, anything
Think about it… you’re enjoying cold air, using free wifi, sitting on those plush couches you wish you had at the crib, using clean restrooms, and enjoying the feel of the design. Even though these perks are free, you should still show appreciation by buying some coffee and tipping the guys and gals who make it for you. The tricky thing about it is how much does one have to pay in order for it to be considered a fair trade? If you’re working from the coffee shop for eight hours, two large cups of coffee and a bagel should do it. If you work through lunch, it’s also cool to buy something there to eat. You don’t want to be that guy who mooches for eight hours without shelling out a single ruble.
Make your meetings light
If you’re a regular at your local shop, you already know how many people they can accommodate and when it’s the least busiest. If you decide to hold a meeting at there, talk to the espresso kings and queens about it or just call the manager to see if it’s even a possibility. If you’re in a meeting and it’s more than five, try to keep it down, and buy as much food and drink as possible. Meetings with less than five can be easily taken care of since there’s barely any effort when it comes to table arrangements and the amount of noise they produce.
Never use your computer’s speakers
Do I really have to write something about this? I think not.
Acceptable work hours
It’s okay if you work there all day, but definitely leave when the shop turns off the neon open sign. Most employees don’t mind the customers who work there. Think about it… it’s better for a business to have people in it, even if it’s the same group of people all the time since it creates a sense of vigor for the folks walking by. So if you’ve got lots of work that needs to be done, and the coffee shop has the right amount of space that feels John Goodman, then by all means be a regular. Remember to take it easy if you’re a newbie by working only a couple of hours here and there until the people get to feel you out.
Watch out for each other
This is probably one of the coolest things you’ll experience as you frequent your local coffee shop. People will watch out for other people’s stuff. It’s not like you’re waiting for your next flight at the airport and asking total randoms who are meandering about to watch your gear. Your coffee shop table neighbors won’t mind keeping an eye on your warez as you take a call outside. If there’s a new group of people you don’t recognize, feel free to ask the employees to watch your goods. You don’t want your precious Mac or Vaio to fall into the hands of some scraggly fellow who just happened to jovially skip on by and head out the door with your belongings.