The Etiquette Rule To Remember When Spending Your Work Day At A Café

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we work has changed dramatically. While prior to the pandemic, in 2019, only 5.7% of the U.S. workforce worked remotely, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2022, 26% of the U.S. workforce was remote, per Zippia. Beyond that, a full 66% work remotely some of the time. An astounding 40% of workers believe they work more productively from home or another remote environment.

But sometimes working from home is just too much. It can become as distracting as an office environment, with laundry calling from another room, dishes waiting in the sink, and family members or roommates clattering around. Sometimes you just have to get out of there. That's when it's time to hit up the absolute best coffee shops in the U.S., or your closest equivalent. But is it rude to camp out in your fave coffee shop for eight hours at a time? Conventional wisdom makes you wonder, but we see people doing it, so it must be doable...right? Here are the secrets behind how to make the coffee shop your office away from home — without making the barista your enemy.

Baristas have one 'tip' for all-day patrons

If you feel awkward about ordering one tiny item and camping out for a full day at your local coffee shop, you have reason to feel that way. According to The Takeout, it's less about what you buy and more about how much you tip. If you're planning to stay all day, expect to tip more than 20%, and tip so when you make your initial purchase. If 20% of your drink is $1, expect to tip more. This, baristas say, sets up a contract of sorts between you and the staff. Your taking up seats may prevent other customers from stopping at the coffee shop, thus preventing the baristas from earning other tips down the line. "[Tips] make up essentially half my income," barista Lexi told The Takeout. Baristas say to be ready to tip as much as $5 if you're planning to take up an especially coveted space or need free drink refills.

If you're planning to stay long hours, be ready to re-order. According to Eater, you should have a drink or something to nosh on at your table at all times. When in doubt, they recommend re-ordering every hour and a half, racking up at least $5 with every order. Money also recommends making multiple purchases. But one insider they spoke to, "coffeepreneur" and author Claire Bowen, says you can stretch it a little bit farther, recommending you make one of those $5 plus tip purchases "for each part of the day" you're hanging out there. As in, morning, mid-day, afternoon, and so on.