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Remote-Office Etiquette

Remote-Office Etiquette

One of the greatest gifts of getting paid to ramble around the world wide interwebs all day is that golden moment when I stumble upon a great new blog. Happy Friday to me! I absolutely love this one for a multitude of reasons (great design, humourous anecdotes, loads of creativity) but also because of this post:

Coffee Shop Etiquette:15 Tips For The Wi-Fi Workforce

As someone who frequently sets up office at local coffee joints while I get my new business off the ground, I can wholly identify with much of what she shares. While it's great that public spaces are available for us to work in, there are far too many people who abuse the system by refusing to practice the art of good patronage. Some of my fave tips from the post:

Remember you’re frequenting a business. If the coffee shop isn’t profitable, it closes, leaving you pantsless in front of a Top Chef marathon. You, my friend, are a customer — so rise to the challenge. While you’re working, keep a purchase in front of you, and buy something every hour or so. If you can’t afford that, the library beckons.

Recognize that everyone wants the outlet seat. Unless outlets are plentiful, don’t use one unless you must. Arrive with a charged machine, and consider bringing an extra battery to avoid the whole drama. If you’re sitting at an outlet and you have enough battery to work for an hour or so, offer to share.

Leave chairs free. If the space is busy, your bag goes on the floor, not a nearby chair. That way other people can use the chair without interrupting you. If you’d like someone to clear a laptop bag so you can sit, say, “Excuse me, is someone sitting here?”

Clean up after yourself. If you spill half the creamer on the counter before you find your cup, wipe it up. Empty sugar packets go in the trash, which is conveniently located inches from your hand. Bus your table between purchases and clear the table before you go. If someone takes your empty glass while you’re still sitting, that’s a forceful hint that it’s time to buy something else or leave.

Read the rest of the article and then tell us: do you think she hit the nail on the head? Anything you'd add to the list? -Kristen Ball

Posted: 12/12/08

Okay, this isn't answering your question, but I have one of my own! When you go to the bathroom, do you take your laptop with you? Or ask someone to "watch" it? Or just trust that it won't disappear in 2 minutes?

  • By aliciak
  • on 12/19/08 1:28 PM EST

Online gambling is not considered "working" in my book. So, online poker guy at Barnes and Noble, if you are reading this give up your prime table and give the rest of us a chance to get our work done! Thanks


These things are not only true at coffee shops, but all over the place. I was recently at the airport when I was attempting to plug in and this woman literally cut me off before I could get near the outlet. It was brutal! Another thing I would add is that you should try to leave generous tips when you can. There have been times when I simply couldn't dredge up enough change for a coffee, but the staff turned a blind eye because they knew me as a "good" customer.

  • By alegria
  • on 12/15/08 3:35 PM EST

Great list! Common sense and common courtesy are lost on some people.