Working on loud, busy places like cafes poses its own challenges. Let's look at how you can be productive no matter where you work.
I have done a good deal of my work in cafes, museums, hotel bars and other public places. It is surprisingly easy if you get it right. On the other hand, you should expect everyone to fulfill your wishes and you will be very disappointed. That's how I do it.
Choose the right place
Where you decide to work, 9/1
And while it's traditional, you do not have to work from a coffee shop. Libraries are fantastic and designed for people who can work in peace, though you can not enjoy all the coffee. Overcome the optics one day in a bar and they can also be a great place to work: many serve coffee and food and are packed as much as other options much later in the day.
There are other minor details that you should keep in mind as to how many charging points. A café designed for remote workers has one at almost every table. A snack can only have one place. Do not try to work in a place where you have no strength – or with extremely slow Wi-Fi – if you have other options.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid places where you are traveling socially. You might see people you know. The goal here is not to chat. The last thing you need is to meet a friend who wants to do nothing more than learn about his latest Instagram-inspired journey.
Make the right kind of work
Another critical factor in public work is choosing the right work. Do not expect nearby tables to remain quiet while making a Skype call. And on the other hand, do not think about making a Skype call through your computer's built-in microphone. You're going to hell out of everyone.
The best work in public places is the kind of things you can do only with your laptop or pen and paper. If you need an extra monitor, a typewriter, a special keyboard, or something else, you'll make your life even more difficult. Bonus points, if the work is something that can get you into a deep flow when you do it. External distractions such as total focus are not affected by anything.
Take Control of Your Environment
You do not have as much control over your environment as in a home office – no special potted plant collections or a Zen-inspired wall quotes – that does not mean that you will not get your stamp can sit on it.
First, you have to choose the right place. Do not sit next to the bathroom, the door, the service door or anywhere else people are passing by. I find some things more distracting than someone moving through my peripheral vision. If you can grab a stand without taking up more space than it is appropriate, do it. Another reliable option is to share a table with someone who works too.
I prefer a window table and go out the window. I find the people behind the glass barrier much less distracting than the people inside. It also means that someone you know he does not know you is less likely to recognize you.
If you have something to do with your personal area, you'll need to control what you hear next. Some people love working with the busy sounds of a busy public area – I do not. Here noise canceling headphones are an absolute godsend. While you will not turn off all sounds combined with ambient electronics, post-rock or classical music, you will find yourself in a world of its own. Increase the volume and get to work.
Distracting yourself from your surroundings can also cause you to be distracted on your devices. Mute your phone and stow it away. Block distracting apps with something like FocusMe and then do it. If your options are work or boring, then you are more likely to work.
Hold the Staff on the Side
Remember that you work in a company. When you sit at a table, you occupy the place of a paying customer, which means you have to behave like one. Do not just assume that you buy a single coffee in the morning, if you want to take some first-class seating and leach out the Wi-Fi for the rest of the day. Buy things regularly. One purchase per hour or two is my general rule.
Also, think about how much space you occupy. Do not take a square table in a small café. That's just reckless.
It's also worth joining in and being friendly with employees if you work regularly. If you get the reputation of a bad customer, they can make your life more difficult. On the other hand, if you have them on your side, you can expect special treatments and bonuses like free pastries that would otherwise go to the bin. It does not take much to smile, please say thank you and give the correct amount.
Coffeeshops have this mythical reputation as a perfect workplace. Do not expect to be productive just because you left home.