In the United States my favorite places to do my work have always been coffee shops. There’s just something to them and the culture which surrounds them. I’ve been in Spain for a while now and, while the culture is a little different, you can still find a coffee shop office to do your work in. Here are the 5 things to look out for and ask about when trying to find a place to work:
This is always the absolute must for a work place. One of my favorite places in Lugo is called DL, but this is one thing that holds it back from being a proper workspace: they only have wifi for 30 minutes. There is no reason for this, other than, I guess, kicking people out after 30 minutes in a passive aggressive way. This means that if I haven’t got everything I need downloaded onto my iPad, I don’t get to work there. Which is why I don’t nearly as much anymore.
And another of my favorite places, La Oficina, doesn’t have wifi at all. (How you can justify calling it La Oficina when you can’t work there is beyond me…)
Luckily, this is not a problem with my last favorite place Manso, and is almost never a problem in the United States.
Most of the time, the customers of coffee shops in the United States are there to be fairly relaxed and quiet. They’re on dates, meeting with friends, relaxing, or working. Worst case scenario, they’re playing a game together. I’ve been that worst case scenario,the two times I’ve seen that.
In Spain, this is not necessarily what you will see. Most people have a more social outing in mind when they go to the cafe here. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for adults, who are still generally respectful of other people’s conversations, but teenagers in particular can be LOUD here. I’ve even come across some bringing their phones in, blasting music. If school is out, I make to leave my workspace fairly quickly. If the crowd is loud, you cannot work.
3. Supply and Pricing
When you go to these places to work, you should absolutely be spending cash to support them. Luckily, Lugo is super affordable. Really, every place here can offer the basics of what you want (tea and coffee). If you want a specialty coffee or specific snack, you might have to search a little harder.
In the US, I prefer to go to my local coffee shops. Usually, they’re cheaper and even if they aren’t– I prefer supporting my favorite small business owners than Starbucks…
4. General Atmosphere
This is everything from the furniture to the decor to the music of a place.
I prefer things to be fairly uncluttered, but interesting enough for when I’m stuck. I also love going places where I can find friends and talk to the baristas. (Both scarce for me in Galicia.) I really don’t care about furniture, as long as I can sit comfortably. Most of the time, music is supposed to be relaxing and fairly quiet, and I don’t see many cafes breaking that. Heck, the only one I’ve seen really play music that was unbearably loud was one from my hometown (looking at you Quills New Albany.)
5. (Galicia Specific) Free Pinchos
You can’t probably hope for this anywhere outside of Galicia, but with every drink order, you get a free snack. Depending on the place, the snack will change in type and size, but everyone should give a pincho like this. If they don’t, you might pick a different one for next time.
Have any recommendations for coffee shop offices out in the world? Let me know in the comments below!
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