Dos and Don’ts of Doing Work at a Coffee Shop

When you’re working on huge paper or studying for that insane midterm, sometimes you need to put yourself in a new environment in order to stimulate your brain cells. I usually go to the library for peace and quiet, but there is a growing trend of students venturing off campus to local coffee shops to do their work. This seems like a pretty good deal. You camp out at your favorite table, are close to delicious drinks, and get to escape campus for a little while.

This is all well and good, but Mashable brings up a good point– if you’re going to study in a coffee shop, you need to be aware of the proper etiquette of doing so. The last thing that you want is to be that horribly obnoxious person who everyone is throwing death glares. So brush up on the correct behavior and make sure that you’re not an unwelcome guest at your favorite hang out.

Here Are Some Things You Should Do:

  • Buy a drink every hour and a half to two hours. A coffee shop is still a business even if you’ve found it a convenient study spot. If you’re hogging up a table, you’d better be giving them business in return for taking up one of their tables.
  • If it’s lunch or dinner time, you should buy food. Again, don’t be rude by taking up a table and not giving the coffee shop business.
  • If you simply don’t want to buy drinks, you should tip well.
  • And this is the thing that I would like to stress: keep your stuff in a very compact space. It’s really quite annoying to see someone using up a larger space than necessary, especially when it’s busy.

Here Are Some Things You Shouldn’t Do:

  • Don’t hog a table if the store is busy. If business starts to pick up, be a nice person and find another place to finish your work, especially if you’re not eating or drinking anything at the moment. If you don’t move, you might be asked by management to move, which is embarrassing and awkward.
  • Don’t have group meetings for projects at a coffee shop if they’re going to last for a long time (over two hours) and be noisy. Those meetings need to be held on campus where you’re not going to distract other patrons.
  • Don’t stay the entire day. It’s not your personal office or desk. If you really don’t want to go back to campus, relocate to another coffee shop.
  • Don’t hog a lot of bandwidth on the Wi-Fi. If you need more bandwidth, it’s time to go back to campus.

More a more detailed list of things you should and shouldn’t do while working at a coffee shop, check out Mashable’s article here. For a more-to-the-point list, check out Lifehacker’s take on the article, complete with reader comments who have added their own rules. For a list of pro’s and con’s of studying at a coffee shop

5 Comments on “Dos and Don’ts of Doing Work at a Coffee Shop

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