Before I actually started running my own online business, I thought it would be awesome to be able to go get a cup of coffee at Starbucks and make money from a cafe. I don't really like Starbucks, but that's generally what's available, and they always have decent wifi.
After I actually started doing it, I quickly realized that it's actually not that great. In fact, I prefer to do what I need to do from home, and enjoy my time at the cafe as relaxation time. Why? Here are some negatives to working from a cafe.
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A cafe isn't a work zone. People are talking, laughing, there are kids running around, chair squeaking, and that damn espresso machine is noisy as hell. You might be scoping out some hotties in that just walked in, or trying to position your coffee in such a way that it won't accidentally spill on your keyboard. Basically, there's a lot going on besides work.
You may think that you ‘work better listening to music' or that the noise just turns into background noise and you don't notice it, but most people, most of the time, get more stuff done when they can focus. Not just that, the quality of the work they do is better as well. Why stretch out to 3 hours in a cafe what can be done in 1.5 hours at home and then enjoy your free time for what it's supposed to be.
2) Work and Leisure Don't Mix
This leads into my next point that a cafe is place for relaxation and freedom. When you take your work to such an environment, those things that you find relaxing, may not be relaxing anymore.
What's worse, is that you may begin to see this place that you used to love to go as a ‘work zone', and might not like it as much. Going for a cappuccino will start to seem like just another day at the office.
I LOVE working from home. I wear my pajamas, or no shirt. I have a messy desk. Sometimes I sit for 3 hours straight and get tons done, sometimes I take breaks every 20 minutes because I want to watch what's happening in the stock market.
Plus, I have a super-awesome office chair that's very, very comfortable.
The problem with cafes is that many are built to keep you there for a short time. They have tall chairs/stools that your feet are usually too long or too short for. They have hard, wooden chairs that make your butt fall asleep when you sit in one position for too long.
Some have comfy couches, but have you figured out how to work from a couch? The tables are usually really low, which means you have to hunch over to see you computer properly and type.
Also, I hate typing on a laptop. All of these things contribute to my lack of comfort while working. Less comfort means I work for a shorter period of time and is less of a good mood.
4) It's expensive
It's about $4 for a cappuccino is Starbucks. I can imagine it's even more expensive for one of those sweet, flavored, fancy drinks. They probably do have cheaper options (regular coffee, tea), but still, that's $2 – $5 dollars you're spending every day MINIMUM. It's like paying office rent.
I don't mean to say that you shouldn't spend any of the money you're making from your business, but if you go to a cafe every day, you are no longer paying for the experience of having a drink or a good time. You are paying to rent a spot for a period of time. It could cost you hundreds per month with you could be at home with a 50 cent cup of coffee or 20 cent cup of tea.
Bonus #1) Lol. Try doing it from an iPad
Even funnier is trying to get actual work done on an iPad or smartphone. Really, even with one of those snappy keyboards that go with tablets, you'll be squinting and scrolling a lot more than you'd probably like.
Bonus #2) Double Lol. Try having a conversation with someone
Need to schedule an appointment or interview someone over Skype. Yes, you are now that guy having a loud conversation in a cafe as if it were your own home. Nobody likes that guy.
In a nutshell, it's going to cost you more and you'll be less productive if you are working from a cafe. You're really better off separating work and play time, to get as much done as you can with the time you have, and enjoy your free time to the fullest.