Studying, working on a side-hustle or as a freelancer in a cafe is the new norm. In fact, the New Scientist points out a reason people work so effectively in places like coffee shops: the small audience effect. Mental effort can be contagious.
In NYC you can pretty much find a coffee shop anytime, anywhere. With fewer distractions than working from home, it’s a change of scenery and the chance for some socialization. More economical than renting an office or coworking space, it’s also more relaxed than the library.
The general coffee shop code of conduct when working or studying includes buying coffee, not just nursing one drink for several hours. If you’re working from a laptop, you’ll need a space with power sockets, but if there are two available, only use one. And it’s not cool to hog the space or make yourself too at home. It’s a shared public space, not a personal office.
However, it’s handy to have a tidy working space at home. If you’ve got a deadline looming or are short on time, you’ll be able to work anytime from home if you’re prepared. A basic solution is to separate your living, relaxation and working spaces at home, like Blueground’s apartments – fully furnished and connected spaces. But if you are looking to recreate the coffee shop ambiance at home, you can try plugging into the sounds of the coffee shop with Coffitivity. It offers a sound library of ambient sounds heard in a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better.
When you’re looking for an NYC coffee shop to study or work from, it’s sensible to think about what kind of environment is most suited to your productivity. If you require peace and quiet to work, consider the noise levels or invest in some noise-canceling headphones. Conversely, maybe low-level noise and music help you tick along. Coffee shops can make handy spots for holding meetings or study groups, so bear in mind seating and access to some more discreet spaces. Knowing some great coffee shops to work or study from offers more freedom to move around the city, catch up on some emails or make Skype calls in any neighborhood. Having a local coffee shop to work or study in can make a great base for establishing a routine and making yourself at ease as a regular.
Apps like Cool Cousin are taking the brain work out of finding the next “it” coffee shop. However, we’ve selected our top picks for NYC coffee shops to work and study from:
Paper is a NoMad neighborhood coffee shop inside the boutique MADE hotel. The space has free WiFi, bike parking and lots of natural light thanks to its large windows. A great spot for a lunchtime meeting or working alone over some breakfast, the food is a big feature here. You can enjoy charred avocado toast and fresh-pressed juices from the Ferris restaurant on-site, as well as the pour-over coffee menu. Though the coffee bar shuts at 5 p.m., the Lobby bar, suitable for working in, is open till midnight.
This minimalist NYC coffee shop can be found in a quiet corner of the High Line Hotel lobby in Chelsea. A winning spot for outdoor space with free WiFi, it has a backyard patio space and garden area on entry. They have a great selection of moderately priced imported coffees and teas, while also being pet-friendly with free dog treats. As the coffee shop is an extension of the hotel, you’ll also have access to the hotel-like amenities and the option to switch to the lobby later in the evening. Working from a hotel lobby is a common way to co-work in the city. If this type of environment works well for you, similar spots can be found in at Ace Hotel, Midtown, and CitizenM in Times Square.
This peaceful cafe in Midtown is located in a bookstore specializing in spiritual literature. The cafe serves quality coffee and teas imported from France, along with homemade cakes. It’s a good spot for a break from the hustle and bustle of Midtown, and also offers a quieter environment for reading. As the WiFi is a paid extra, it’s not chock-a-block with laptop users.
If you enjoy working from a bookstore, also check out the Housing Works bookstore coffee shop. A social enterprise/not-for-profit business, it’s a beloved community spot for reading, writing and exchanging ideas in.
The USP of this NYC coffee shop is it’s no laptop policy. Without WiFi, if’s perfect if you’re looking to stay offline, study or brainstorm. The spacious seating areas have a cozy living room feel with soft background music, making a good spot for study groups. It serves vegan and vegetarian options and they brew their own coffee. The cafe has outlets across NYC neighborhoods from Park Slope to Grand Central Terminal. If offline working is your bag, also check out Irving Farm on the Upper East Side. Also a coffee shop with no WiFi, customers love the cold brew coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
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This coffee shop brings Australian coffee culture to the East Village. Top rated for their knowledgeable and friendly staff and coffee menu, it’s also an all-rounded relaxed space to work from. With a quiet noise level, there are ample charging spots, free wifi, and a laid-back customer environment. This atmosphere reflects the owner’s intention to bring the Australian-style leisurely experience and a broader sense of coffee community to life. A true hidden gem!