Find the Best Coffee Shops for Working Remotely

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working from the road. Most of the time my Airbnb comes with wifi, but it doesn’t always work as expected. As a result, I’ve become somewhat of an expert at rooting out good workspaces, namely coffee shops, while I travel.

Whether you need a spot for checking emails, conducting meetings or getting a project done, here’s what to look out for when searching for the perfect workspace.

Solid Wifi

Wifi is probably the reason you are out looking for a space to work from at all. Otherwise a park bench or a balcony seat could do the job. Fortunately these days you can actually filter out coffee shops by their wifi offering on Yelp and the reviews can help you confirm that the connection is steady. Otherwise, you might have to turn your smartphone into a hotspot.

The Right Atmosphere

In order to get work done, and take calls, make sure the noise level isn’t too loud or too quiet. It’s awkward when you’re the only one conducting a conversation but even worse when you can’t hear at all. Just in case you find a spot that gets a little hectic, pack your noise cancelling headphones.

Convenient Seating Space

Before you head out to a coffee shop, check for photos to make sure there’s space to sit down. To weed out the tiny spots, you can search for “the best working coffee shops” in your destination. The resulting roundups usually offer spaces with big, shared working tables.

A Good Menu

If you’re going to be there all day long, it’s a big plus if they serve a decent lunch. And some spots may require you to make a purchase before they hand over the wifi password.

a man sitting at a table in front of a restaurant.

Tips for Getting Work Done in a Coffee Shop

When you arrive, try not to sit in high traffic areas. Spaces near the door and register can get noisy, crowded and distracting.

Also remember to bring your laptop with a full charge in case all the outlets are taken. Or you could be the hero by packing a mini surge protector. I have been traveling with one on this trip and it has made it so simple to let everyone charge up at the same time instead of waiting turns and playing the “who has the least amount of charge left?” game.

Lastly, learn how to turn your phone into a hotspot (and know your rates) in case the wifi at your coffee shop drops out on you.

Other Workspace Ideas

If you aren’t having any luck finding a coffee shop, look for a local library. They tend to have free wifi and lots of quiet work space.

There are also a lot of cool co-working spaces cropping up in cities. Many offer day passes for business travelers.

Otherwise, you could check to see if any of the hotels at your destination have a business center.

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