Is it Rude to Work in a Coffee Shop?

We’ve all seen it: we’re sitting in a coffee shop indulging in our own business, sipping a latte or some other nectar of the gods and low and behold, out of the corner of our little eye we spy as the waitress is serving some guy, another guy sitting behind typing away on his keyboard… working. 

But, is it rude to work in a coffee shop, yay or nay? Read on below, and find out the truth, today!

Is it Rude to Work in a Coffee Shop?

So, what do you say? Is it rude to work in a coffee shop in this day and age? Or is it A-OK for these laptop-wiz kids to tend to their biz while the rest of us are dunking our donuts and sipping our piping hot (or iced) coffees reading the newspaper and minding our own business? 

Believe it or not, working in a coffee shop is only considered rude if it is taking up precious bar space from others. If there is open table space, there is nothing wrong with having a laptop or tablet out and working.

How Rude Is it?


Working in a coffee shop rates 3 out of 10 on the rude meter. If there is room for it, there is nothing rude about working on a computer, tablet, or phone, in a coffee shop. Only when it is taking space from other would-be customers is it considered rude.

Why is it Not Rude?

In today’s world of all things being tied to the internet, including many people’s careers and daily workloads, there is nothing rude about getting some work done while enjoying a brew or two at the local coffee shop.

In fact, many coffee shops offer free wifi for just this very reason. Someone who has their nose stuck in their work is an easy customer to handle, and one that keeps making purchases as long as they want to keep their working space.

Other Options to Do Instead

There is no real need to think of other options to do instead of working in a coffee shop. What you may want to think about, however, is the type of coffee shop you are thinking about working in.

If a particular coffee shop is known for being a sports hangout, or a social gathering place for youngsters, you may want to opt out and find another shop to sip joe and get some work done in.

Common Questions

Why isn’t it rude to work in a coffee shop?

Coffee shops are well acquainted with the on-the-go business type that likes to drink coffee and get work done at the same time, and they see nothing rude about it. In this day and age, people who work at coffee shops offer up a lot of paying business to the shop owners, and tips to the staff. In other words, people who work in coffee shops are the preferred customers, much of the time.

When did working in coffee shops become a thing?

Working in coffee shops has been a “thing” since coffee shops themselves have been a thing. A certain amount of people have no doubt always brought their newspapers, or notebooks, along to coffee shops (doing some sort of work while they wait for others, or enjoy a drink alone).

Is it always ok to work in coffee shops?

It is perfectly A-OK for people to work in coffee shops today. In fact, most coffee shops around the world have caught onto the appeal of working and drinking coffee and offer free wifi to entice just such customers to continue to do so.