Advice for Using Starbucks As Your Virtual Workplace

My July 1 was so busy that I didn’t even havve the time to drop by Starbucks (which is across the street and a half block away from my office) to try out its first day of:

Free Wi-Fi for everyone. Now at Starbucks

To clarify, here’s the deal:

– No need for a registered Starbucks card
– No username or password (or registration) required
– No 2-hour restriction

For those of you with a virtual company and virtual officies, GigaOm’s Om Malik offers a set of tips for:

Using Starbucks As Your Office? Here Are Some Tips

The vast majority of Om’s tips are ones of common courtesy which I also subscribe to and encourage. Here’s a couple of practical tips from me based on my time as a home-based full-time blogger (“back in the day” as they say):

– There are probably more than one Starbucks restaurants in your area. Scout out each one to learn about their differences. I’ve found that no two Starbucks are designed the same way in my area. Some, for example, have backroom areas that are perfect for working or having discussions. Some Starbucks have many tables while some have practically none.

– Learn the daily cycle of the various Starbucks. There is, for example, a nearby Starbucks that is in a great location with good seating and table options. However, it is near a high school. And, the during the school year, the high schoolers overrun the location starting about 2:30pm. If you get there too late, there is no where to sit and work. You should have two to three alternate locations picked out if your primary Starbucks has regular superbusy periods.

– Buy a netbook or notebook with a long functional battery life. You may not be able to find a place to plug in. And, is it really a good thing to leech off Starbuck’s electricity anyway?

– If you are a mouse user (I’m not fan of trackpads myself), buy a mouse that can work on nearly any surface. Microsoft’s Bluetrack mouse is an example of this type of mouse.