I’ve been seeing posts on social media on how cafes nowadays are filled with students and workers hogging tables and chairs for themselves for the whole day. Some order a cup of coffee and then hang-out in the cafe for the whole day without ordering anything else. Some even leave their stuff and buy food from another establishment (to save cash) and then come back to continue with their “stay”. These are all downright disgusting.
I felt as a #cofficehunter and a remote worker, I had to share my two cents on the issue. But of course, it’s up to you to filter my opinions. I’m merely stating these “rules” as what I think the proper way/etiquette should be when it comes to working or studying at cafes. With that said, here are my thoughts on Coffice Etiquette
1. The Unspoken 3-Hour Rule
3 is the magic number. If you order a meal and/or a cup of coffee, that’s your ticket to staying at the cafe for a maximum of 3 hours. If you need more than that, have the courtesy (and common sense?) to buy something else from the menu. The cafe’s a business and you’re (sort of) running a business through their free wifi, electricity, A/C, table, and chair–pay for it! Some cafes, like Diligence Cafe in Katipunan, function like a coworking space and have day passes while some cafes, like Subspace Cafe, require you to buy a total of 150 Php or more to get their Wifi password. I suggest you figure out your to-do list first so you can maximize your hours at the cafe.
Note: This is why I only go to cafes if I really need to, ’cause I know I have to spend. Master your work-at-home routine first before depending on cafes as your office space for the day. If you have to go to a cafe every day to work, you might just need to sign-up at a coworking space near your area. I find flyspaces.com to be the most helpful in searching for spaces.
2. Don’t Be A Brat, Treat Everyone Nicely
This goes for every establishment you go to but I feel the need to remind you that everyone has different intentions when they go to cafes. Some are there to eat, drink, read a book, meet someone, chat with friends, study, work, etc. It’s a given that a cafe, especially if it’s crowded, is a noisy place. (The coffee machine is noisy too, btw) No one knows that you need to get serious work done there so just hold your temper if things don’t pan out the way you imagined (ex. your tablemates are conversing loudly and you can’t concentrate). Smile, mellow out, and transfer to another cafe if the current one you’re in isn’t working for you.
3. The Cafe is Not Your House
I can tolerate people sitting in different ways (ex. Indian sit or one leg under the knee) but people who take their shoes off or put up their legs on the chair are an eyesore. The cafe isn’t your house! It’s a public space, and it being a public space means you have to be mindful of others. Also, it’s a bit gross don’t you think? No one wants to see your bare feet while eating or drinking. If you desperately have to do the things mentioned above (which, I still think is inappropriate) go to the less visible area of the cafe.
4. Be Mindful of Others, Share!
Cafes get crowded during the day and there will come a time when you need to share your table, chair, and/or the socket near you. Share, it’s the right thing to do.
5. Watch Over Your Valuables
People have asked me countless times what I do if I need to go to the washroom. The answer is I ask the person beside me, the guard, or one of the baristas to watch over my things. Take note: I ask them nicely. I’ve tried leaving my stuff as is without telling anyone but I find that this just doesn’t work out. It makes me worry a lot ’cause if my laptop gets stolen, my whole life’s work comes with it.
6. Clean Up After Yourself
I always make it a point to return the dishes, trays, and utensils I used right before I leave. It’s my way of saying thank you for letting me use their space.
7. Be Ready, Be Informed
One thing I hate the most is when I settle down in my seat after ordering a meal or a cup of coffee and realize that their wifi isn’t working or they don’t have sockets. I mean, I do have my personal hotspot but as much as possible I want to use the cafe’s free wifi. It would be best to either look at my blog or Instagram account (*wink wink*), DM me, or DM the cafe itself if you want to know more information. Do this a day before your visit just to be sure. Also, charge all your gadgets, bring a power bank, bring your earphones, etc. so you’re ready to get things done right when you arrive at the cafe!
All in all, just remember that you have to prepare to work in a public space an act accordingly. The world will be a better place and we won’t get a bad rap when you do.
I hope these helped you out! If you want to add to this list, comment below!