As people continue to work remotely during the pandemic, cafés, restaurants and coffee shops are increasingly becoming popular makeshift offices. Offering free wifi, plug points and great coffee, besides other amenities, these eateries are an answer to both work from home fatigue and the persistent threat of load shedding. Here’s a look at 10 popular Joburg cafes promising exceptional remote-working facilities.
With nine workstations complete with five plug points at each (two two-prong and three three-prong) as well as unlimited free wifi, The Grind Coffee Company is perfect for the digital nomad. The café is split across three levels and has three boardrooms fitted out with TV screens and ample plug points, which can be reserved for private meetings. Patrons are free to use the facilities all day long by spending a mere R100 and, as part of the eatery’s loyalty programme, regulars can enjoy a free coffee, following the purchase of 10 coffees. In keeping with COVID-safety protocol, every table has a dividing screen with a bottle of hand sanitiser on it and tables are sanitised before every new customer arrives.
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Owner-managed and -run, Croft & Co. promises personalised efficient service, great coffee made from top-quality beans and a tranquil remote working spot for customers. Patrons can use the free, unlimited wifi while choosing to sit at the tables outdoors or indoors in a soundproof environment. There are also 10 plug points, which are a mix of two-prong and three-prong. The two large tables in the centre are ideal for bigger groups with plug points beneath them. Each table has a bottle of hand sanitiser and disposable menus and cutlery is wrapped and sealed in disposable packets.
This French-style bakery, restaurant and patisserie is a popular hangout spot, known for its lip-smacking food, eclectic music and efficient service. Offering unlimited wifi and five plug points, the Melrose Arch outlet is also a great space to work away from home. COVID-safety protocol is strictly followed with outdoor seating at tables spaced at a distance of 1.5 metres, tables and chairs regularly sanitised and a bottle of sanitiser placed on every table for use by patrons. Cutlery is also provided in individually wrapped, one-time-use sealed packets.
A popular chill-out spot for office goers, students and the brunch brigade alike, The Whippet is perpetually buzzing and known for delicious bites, great coffee and stimulating conversations. It is also a coveted co-working space with indoor and outdoor tables, including long communal tables for larger groups, and five plug points – two three-prong and three two-prong. Wifi is free for the first two hours and then chargeable at R50 per gig. The restaurant follows all standard COVID-safety regulations, including sanitising tables and chairs before and after each occupant, wide spacing of tables, open windows for ample ventilation and ensuring that all staff wear masks.
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Known worldwide for its great coffee, Seattle Coffee Co. at The Marc has another huge advantage – individual booths with as many as 30 plug points, which are a mix of two-prong and three-prong, and free wifi for the first two hours. Dim light and a peaceful atmosphere are an added bonus, although there is no outdoor seating option available at this outlet. However, booths and tables are amply spaced out and are regularly sanitised and all staff wear masks.
Popular for its stellar coffee, croissants and wood-fired pizzas, Doppio Zero also sees a spate of regulars working from its restaurant, all day long. Free, unlimited wifi and 12 three-prong plug points as well as ample indoor and outdoor seating are what attract the digital nomads to its outlet. All COVID-safety measures including temperature checks and regular sanitising of tables are followed, with an emphasis on masks to be worn at all times in the outlet.
‘WiFi as strong as its coffee’ is what best describes Naked Kitchen & Coffee Bar, as all its regulars will ascertain. With comfortable outdoor seating surrounded by tall plants, unlimited, free wifi and nine plug points, which are a mix of two- and three-prong, the coffee shop is a great spot to set up your remote workstation. The vegan and gluten-free menu options are an added bonus. Tables are placed at a distance of 1.5m from each other and are sanitised after every patron leaves, and wearing of masks is strictly observed, as is recording of names and temperatures.
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As the name suggests, Mugg & Bean is known for its incredible bottomless coffee and all-day breakfast and brunch specials. This, coupled with its unlimited free wifi and ample seating as well as seven two-prong plug points, makes it a viable co-working space. Unlike typical coffee shops, Mugg & Bean also offers full table service. All COVID-safety protocol is strictly adhered to, including regular sanitising of tables that are set two metres apart from each other.
While the Starbucks brand name itself is enough to bring in the crowds, the standout coffee, courteous and efficient service, ambient lighting and unlimited wifi are other factors. For remote workers, Starbucks Rosebank also has about 20 plug points in the outlet, which are a mix of two-prong and three-prong. Outdoor seating is available and all standard COVID-safety measures are practiced.
What could be better than working outdoors on your laptop while inhaling the aroma of freshly roasted coffee? At The Gourmet Grocer, patrons can do exactly that while using the free, unlimited wifi. The animal-friendly restaurant allows customers to bring their dogs along too. Serving up great tasting coffee from the on-site Coffefe coffee bar and roastery, artisanal ready meals and a slew of deli and grocery items, The Gourmet Grocer is also a good choice if you need to do a spot of grocery shopping before heading home after the day’s work. The space has several two-prong plug points, with more being fitted in currently as well as USB points by mid-May. With outdoor seating on the wide pavement outside, there is ample ventilation and tables are spaced 1.5 metres apart from each other and are sanitised along with the menus, salt, pepper and sugar dispensers in front of customers.