Ah Starbucks, the best place to sit and get work done when you need an internet connection and your kiddo is in school (after all, they're everywhere and always close). Instead of driving 20 minutes or so back home to work after dropping my daughter off at school I drive two minutes to Starbucks, order my Chai and tasty treat (Possibly why I've gained so much weight recently), and sink my butt into the cushion of their bench seating for some premium work time. But it isn't something you can just do, you have to prepare for working at Starbucks — just like anywhere else. I'm not talking about how nicely you dress because that could be gym clothes or jeans, but your mobile office needs to be complete, and you should be prepared for the environment. If you've ever sat for a chat at Starbucks you know a bit about this, but sitting for several hours in a Starbucks requires a certain set of "essentials." To all the mobile working parents . . . here's my list.
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Jacket & Gloves
The "weather" in Starbucks is either cool, brisk or Arctic. Regardless, you're going to want a jacket. It can be 100 degrees outside (it actually is today), and you'll have goosebumps from the chill of Starbucks (true story). I'm not sure if it's a corporate scheme to get people in and out of the coffee shop, or to encourage more warm coffee purchases, but someone sitting for several hours is going to need a jacket (and maybe gloves or mittens).
Laptop & Cords
Yes, a laptop is awesome, but not so much when you're 15 minutes into your work and it dies on you. Which then reminds you that all of your cords and plugs are at home. Doh! Keep your backup drive and cord secure in its' very own case, but don't forget to bring it!
Mobile Work Bag
A bag for all your mobile work needs is important. Having this bag allows you to stay slightly more organized, and be sure that cords, plugs, laptops and such are all where they're supposed to be and with you. If I'm using one of my purses I make sure it's large enough for my laptop, but any mobile drives and cords too. Any other tid bits I might need are put in an insert I can take out of my purse and transfer to another. Another plus to the mobile working bag? You can pack up all but your drink (which saves your seat) and use the restroom without having to leave your laptop unattended or on the bathroom floor. Thank you bag straps!
Not only is this handy for storing your laptop and charger, but this case is a great barrier between your laptop and whatever's on the Starbucks table today. I usually wipe the table with a napkin before I put my things down, but even then . . . I'd rather just use my laptop case as a little cradle for my laptop, and barrier of sorts.
Starbucks Gold Card
If you're working here a few days a week, and also need to grab an after-school snack for your kiddo before you go, you'll need a reloadable Starbucks card of some sort. I use the Starbucks card mobile app (for Android and ios) because I'm always losing something, and my Starbucks gold card is one of those things. With the app I simply reload (if needed) then pay with my account. I also receive free items for every 12 I buy and on my Bday!
This may sound a bit taboo, but I've seen it! Order your favorite drink and bring out a little snack from home after a bit if you know what you have to eat is healthier or tastier than the offerings in-store (although, they did just add alcohol and some other small bites to the menu . . .that's another topic and source of some interesting new posts).
Sometimes baristas get a bit chatty, and so do the Starbucks patrons. Between drink making noises and the surrounding chatter it can be hard to focus, so some great headphones and your preferred playlist is sometimes recommended.
Hands Free Device
Because it's more noisy than not inside Starbucks, you'll want to bring in a hands-free, in-ear talking device for phone calls. This hopefully cuts down on the noise for the other end, too. I use the in-ear headphones that came with my iPhone for this and listening to music, but I've been bringing the noise canceling ones, too.
You never know who you'll end up talking to at Starbucks. Once you sit there and run into some other working from Starbucks regulars, you'll find that you have some convos and things in common. I usually work next to a high school pastor and we talk about everything from social media to parenting, and even my asking him to convince his wife to come to my events. I'v also run into women who have husbands that may work with mine, and work in some pretty cool fields. That's right — Natural, in-person networking! It's amazing.
What do you bring when you work from Starbucks? Please share your tips in the comments below!
This is not a sponsored post and is in no way affiliated with Starbucks. I just work from there. A lot.