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Tips on working at a coffee shop and not being THAT guy

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) If you are one of the several freelancers in the nation, it’d be doing everyone a favor to mind yourself and not be THAT guy (or gal) at the coffee shop.

secret coffee shop freelance

Freelance nation

With freelancers comprising 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce, many of us rely on local coffee shops as a mobile office.

For me, just getting out of my own four walls for a couple of hours feels good, plus I love good coffee.

If you venture

Some people don’t have space at home to work. No matter why freelancers use the coffee shop/Starbucks, they need to be aware of proper etiquette in the store.

1. One of my pet peeves is the freelancer who isn’t nice to the barista or the other customers. It doesn’t hurt to offer a smile. I don’t care how pressed for time you are. Be kind.

2. Freelancers who sit at a table for a long time using the wi-fi and drinking the coffee should tip well. At your local Starbucks, you may not be actually taking customers away from the barista, but when customers cannot sit down due to all the freelancers, it can hurt the baristas bottom line.

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3. Share tables and double up, especially if you’re sitting at a table for four. The coffee shop is for everyone, not just freelancers.

4. Don’t run electrical cords all over. It’s a hazard for patrons, and it could be dangerous to your laptop. Unplug when you are fully charged.

5. If you must be on the phone, keep conversations short and low volume. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to what should be personal business when I’m in a coffee shop.

6. CLEAN UP your own mess.

In real life

In my small town, I’m not fortunate enough to have a coffee shop, but once a week, I make the trek over to Bartlesville for the delicious coffee at The Painted Horse.

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The regulars are great and there is plenty of space for freelancers, so I’m fairly lucky.

Most of the freelancers around my area are very considerate. But that’s not to say I haven’t seen my share of obnoxious freelancers when I’m in Tulsa and Dallas.

If freelancers want to have access to coffee shops, we have to respect their business.


Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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