Sometimes it is fun to work in a new setting. Whether you work at home all day by yourself or work in an office full of noisy coworkers, I think it can help you to focus better on your work to occasionally change things up a little bit. What better place to go than a coffee shop with free Wi Fi? Nice atmosphere, yummy coffee, comfy seats. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Here are a few tips to help you telecommute from a coffee shop (or book shop or anywhere with free Wi Fi) effectively.

1. Buy a drink or something to eat. Please don’t take up valuable table space and use their internet if you aren’t going to buy something from the shop. The exception might be if you are working from a book store. I’m not sure what etiquette would dictate on that. Although if you are like me, you will have trouble leaving a book shop without completely blowing your budget.

2. Get a good seat. This means something different for everyone. Whether you want to sit in a corner, by a window, on a chair or a couch, inside or outside, go ahead and be purposeful about where you are sitting so that you are comfortable and can work.

3. Make sure you have everything you need to work. Nothing is more annoying than getting there, buying your cup of coffee and sitting down ready to start being super productive, only to realize that you forgot your power cord, or a book you needed, or any other of a myriad of things. Take a couple of extra seconds before you leave the house to make sure you have everything you will need to do your work.

4. Bring headphones. You are going to the coffee shop to be productive, so be proactive and get rid of conversational distractions before they begin. A good play list of songs or some white noise will keep you from listening in on others conversations.

5. Don’t go when there are events planned. If you go during the day, there’s a pretty good chance nothing out of the ordinary will be happening. However, if you go¬† in the evening, check first to see if there is a band or other activity taking place. Its really hard to work if there is live music blaring in your ear or if the weekly knitter’s meeting is taking place.

6. Make sure laptops are allowed and welcomed. I guess some small mom and pop shops have recently started discouraging laptops. Seems like they might be biting the hand that feeds them…. Anyway, you don’t want to go where you aren’t welcome, so a quick look around to make sure there are others with laptops and that there are no signs discouraging their use would be a good idea.

There are many more tips out there, but these are a good start. Can you think of any more helpful tips or practices?