What to Look for in a Coffee Shop

Do you enjoy working from a coffee shop? Here are five coffee shop must-haves

I don’t know how else to say it — self employment gets super-boring at times. As much as I enjoy walking my dog, running and doing other stuff to break up the work day, I still get bored. Worst of all, boredom sometimes lingers, and if I’m not careful, I worry it will affect my work.

Fortunately, I have a strategy to cope with the monotony of self-employment — take a trip to a local coffee shop to grab a cup of Joe (black with two Splenda) and work there. Simple enough, right? Not so much — let me explain.

If you’re self-employed and want to work from a coffee shop, you need to find one that makes it easy to get outside your home AND maximize your productivity. So, I recommend choosing a coffee shop that offers the following amenities:

1. Free (and Unlimited) Wi-Fi

Most coffee shops offer free Wi-Fi, but certain coffee shops restrict the amount of time that you can use their Wi-Fi (for example, my local Panera limits free Wi-Fi access to 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day). To find out how a coffee shop handles Wi-Fi, call ahead.

2. Ample Seating

The ideal coffee shop offers lots of seats and tables, so you won’t have to worry about setting up your laptop, enjoying your beverage and having everything you need to work at arm’s length. Visit a coffee shop before you plan to work there; this allows you to see how much seating is available.

3. Comfortable Chairs

The best coffee shops have chairs — not stools — where you can sit comfortably for as long as you’d like. As you check out a coffee shop’s seating options, take a look at its chairs. If you feel like a coffee shop’s chairs are too rigid or uncomfortable, look elsewhere for your dream coffee shop.

4. Adequate Parking

Ensure a coffee shop offers adequate parking throughout the day. Additionally, if you plan to ride your bike to a coffee shop, ensure this venue has a convenient spot where you can park and lock up your bike.

5. Power Outlets (and Lots of Them)

Find a coffee shop that offers plenty of power outlets where you can plug in your laptop, smartphone and other devices. Whenever possible, choose a coffee shop that provides three-prong outlets, too.

Ready to get your brew on? Work from a coffee shop, and you can break up the boredom of a typical work day.

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