When you’re traveling on business, we know a priority is always going to be finding a spot to get some work done when you’ve got a few hours in between meetings. And this means somewhere that has a free and reliable wifi connection, tasty options for refueling (we’re thinking strong coffee, and depending on your tastes, energizing protein pots or decadent cakes) and enough space for both you and your laptop. So if you’re looking for some business travel tips whilst visiting London, New York or Tokyo, we’ve put together a guide to the best cafes to work remotely from!
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This is technically a co-working space in the lobby of the iconic Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, but bear with us a moment. There’s a large table where the number of plug sockets matches the number of seats, comfy sofas if that’s more your thing along with numerous options for keeping energy levels up with everything from Square Mile Roasters serving up coffee, detox juices from Lovage or British cuisine from their in-house restaurant Hoi Polloi. Located in creative Shoreditch but not far from The City, this would be our pick in East London.
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With two central locations in Soho and Seven Dials, Timberyard is perfect if you’re in it for the (relatively speaking) long haul. Settle yourself in to one of their ridiculously comfy armchairs or grab a spot at the co-working table downstairs (there’s also a meeting room) and work your way through the delicious selection of freshly baked cakes, seasonal produce and artisanal coffee.
Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
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The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs have got you covered from pretty much wherever you happen to be working in London, as they have seven branches across the city, everywhere from Canary Wharf to Chancery Lane. The focus here is most definitely on the coffee, and the industrial style interiors means there’s not much to distract you!
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Much like their London sister, the lobby of the Ace Hotel in New York is also a great space to get some work done. Here too you’ll find comfy sofas, plenty of space for your laptop and the baristas at Stumptown Coffee Roasters will keep you energized with their carefully crafted beverages.
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Fika is a Swedish concept which basically involves having a coffee (or tea) along with a cake or sandwich. We think that sounds pretty great. Having a fika is generally associated with taking a little coffee break and conversing with a loved one, but Fika in New York is also the perfect cafe to get some work done while you grab a coffee. They have an abundance of locations in Manhattan, all with free wifi, and the airy interiors will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to work.
Amy’s Bread Cafe at the New York Public Library
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We couldn’t think of anywhere we’d rather work (quite possibly in the world). The stunning New York Public Library has free wifi in all of its public spaces, but where you’d previously have had to head to one of the reading rooms, they’ve now joined up with popular local bakery Amy’s Bread to open a new cafe location in the library on Fifth Avenue. Maybe you’ll be inspired by the architectural surroundings, or by working in the same building that houses iconic literary and historical works... Or maybe you’ll be too busy enjoying the free wifi and sampling the fresh hand-made pastries, sandwiches or sweet treats. So you should probably go and find out next time you’re visiting New York on business.
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La Kagu feels more like you’re in Scandinavia than Japan but the large communal tables, industrial style interior and delicious menu makes for the perfect spot to work from while on a business trip in Tokyo. You’re guaranteed not to be the only one getting some work done on their laptop, but the open plan co-working vibe makes it a great spot for a business lunch or informal meeting too.
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Located centrally in Harajuku you’ll find Niko and... And what?. Good question. The answer is plugs at every seat, a clothes and homewares shop on the ground floor (perfect for purchasing a last minute present for the family from your business trip to Japan) and restaurant upstairs. It’s light, bright and the perfect place to get some work done in central Tokyo.
10 Degree Cafe
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We’re convinced this cafe was designed with the sole purpose to be the perfect spot to work remotely from and get some serious work done! Aside from their stylish decor (always a bonus), there’s power sockets galore, good wifi, and the three floors are divided up into spaces for people working alone or in groups along with reserved seating available on the third floor.
Or maybe it's time to close the laptop and discover the city a little with one of our locals in between meetings instead...