A short guide to laptop friendly cafes

Stephen Dawson
3 min readMar 9, 2020

It’s a common sight. An oat latte sitting next to a Macbook Air, phone out on the table, and an aroma of self-righteous busyness.

With a viable work-space and caffeinated beverage most likely waiting at home or at the office — why do people want to go out and spend money on coffee to find a place to work?

Simply put, working in a cafe is a pleasant pastime that sparks creativity and productivity.

If you’re going to dedicate your life to working on a computer you have every right to be fussy about where to do it.

Most will tell you they can’t really concentrate in an office. Distractions come thick and fast. Personally — I’m more likely to lose my train of thought amongst people I know and need to acknowledge. The overwhelming stream of phone calls, fruit deliveries, and banter knocks my attention off the rails and onto twitter.

This is especially devastating for meaningful work. It can take a long time to fully regain concentration after a trivial interruption.

Think about how many interruptions you faced in the office today. Add up the time it took you to shift back into your workflow. If interruptions can cost this much time, it’s surely worth investing in a solution.

Cafes aren’t the most peaceful environments but many will long for the calming nature of a cafe background soundtrack. The sound and smell of coffee preparation is warming and enticing.

The best ideas I’ve had typically come to me in an environment that triggers a relaxed mind set. A cafe has the potential to do this —so why wouldn’t I want to pay the small price of a coffee to get there?

I must clarify though. A cafe has potential. It’s no sure thing. What needs to be weighed up?


You won’t last long if your hope of getting comfortable relies on a tiny heater in the corner that is being hogged by one lucky individual.

On the other hand, sit too close to a heat source and you will get too comfortable.


Stephen Dawson

Experiences & tech | UX Researcher / Designer