The definitive guide to Coffice etiquette
(Originally posted at The Coffice blog.)
It seems only fitting that the first post from The Coffice should introduce readers to Coffice etiquette.
This guide — categorized into sections represented by an easy-to-remember acronym — speaks to the daily workspace challenges and opportunities that go hand-in-hand with the Coffice workstyle. It also serves as a starting point for how we, as Cofficers and coffee shops, can work together with mutual respect, common ambitions, and plenty of coffee (or whatever your palate desires).
So let’s talk B.R.E.W.E.D.
One person’s Coffice is another person’s business. Many Coffices are independently owned coffee shops — small businesses. They’re trying to pay their bills like everyone else. Support them. They’re amazing.
If there’s room for your Coffice to improve, provide that feedback offline first — a Coffice deserves a chance to address and then meet or exceed your expectations.
When you find a great Coffice be sure to spread the word through online ratings/reviews.
Be mindful of how much room you take up. Keep your Coffice footprint as small as possible.
This means sharing your unused table space with others — proactively, willingly and happily offering your other table half or extra chair to Cofficers and non-Cofficers (customers) alike.
Use your Coffice’s large common table if it has one. It keeps small tables open for other customers and often attracts co-Cofficers who might be able to keep an eye on your work gear when you have to step away for a short time. The common table also has great networking potential.
There’s an expense that comes with working in a Coffice — it’s the cost of regular purchases — the rule of thumb is one item per hour. Yes, it can add up, but you’re getting a great place to work for that cost.
Ideally, you’ll also be tipping the staff who work to make you feel welcomed during your extended stay.
During the holiday season be sure to show Coffice staff your appreciation with a larger than usual tip or a small gift.
Wifi & Wattage:
Your Coffice might advertise “free Wifi and power “ for customers, but they’re likely not free for the coffee shop owner.
Be respectful about the amount of time you spend online and plugged in. Limit the amount of bandwidth you use, and share nearby electrical sockets when you must power up. This will ensure a speedy connection and enough power for everyone. You can also log off the wifi while you’re not using it.
Always save the large bandwidth-hogging file downloads for your own wifi network.
What you hear and see in your workday in a Coffice needn’t be part of everyone else’s sensory landscape.
Always have “eargear” with you for when you want/need to listen to music or watch videos on your laptop or other devices. Related to that, never use your phone’s speaker when taking calls at the Coffice. Be considerate of those around you — take it outside.
When it comes to visuals — most often on a device’s screen — viewable contents should always be all ages appropriate. If client confidentiality is ever an issue, that work should not be done in a Coffice.
Clean up after yourself. The next Cofficer or customer to use your table shouldn’t have to — ever.
If you rearranged Coffice furniture, for whatever reason, put it back in its original spot when you’re done or before you leave.
While much of this information may seem like common “golden rule” knowledge, etiquette remains one of the most discussed topics about the Coffice workstyle.