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Perfect ingredients for a coffice

Working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, back in the early days of 2006

The ‘Coffice’ is where a digital nomad might go to work. It’s a marriage of coffee and office that’s becoming a well used term in digital nomad circles and was first coined by the website

I have over 7 years experience of working from coffices all over the world and have compiled an essential list of things to look for in a potential work-space.


Good to have coffices near to where you live. I personally dislike having to drive to work or catch public transport. Having a coffice nearby that’s walkable saves you money, keeps you fit and helps the planet. After all, not having to spend too much time and money on a commute is one of the major plus points of being a digital nomad.


For me I look for a spacious property, somewhere that’s not full of prams where too many tables have been crammed in.

In a hot country I would look for air conditioning unless I can sit outside somewhere breezy. In a cooler climate then a comfortable level of heating is a must, but not too much.

Noise is an important factor too and I find that if a coffice is too big then noise levels can be intolerable! I was in a coffice yesterday and I actually downloaded an android app that measured sound and was shocked to see it was 80 decibels! That’s the same as being on a busy street with traffic roaring past.

3. CAFE TYPE – Independent v Chain

I tend to lean towards working from chain coffee shops rather than independent ones. This actually goes against what I usually do, in fact if I am meeting a friend for coffee I will go out of my way to avoid chains.

My experience is that chain coffee shops are usually staffed by students, part time workers and younger people who generally won’t mind you sitting there all day hogging the bandwidth and air conditioning for the price of a small Latte.

Independent places tend to be staffed by the owner(s) and therefore one might not feel so comfortable as presumably they care more about you taking up a seat, and I don’t blame them either.

To sum up

Wifi for me is no longer a consideration as I travel with a mobile phone that can act as a hotspot via 3G. Eventually this will be 4G which I found extremely fast while in the US recently.

I once rented some shared office space that was pretty cheap but I found the problem was that no one ever seemed to use their desks so I would often be sitting alone – something I could do from home for free!

I have noticed recently that many of these shared offices have closed down recently in my home city perhaps partly due to the rise in coffee shops.

In my home country of the UK coffee shop culture has well and truly taken hold and that bodes well for the growing number of digital nomads.