European establishments push back against digital nomads overstaying their welcome

Image by Ling App from Pixabay

Cafes and bars in Valencia, Santiago, and Barcelona, Spain are starting to crack down on remote workers with laptops who order a single drink but occupy a table for several hours or an entire day.


While cafes initially adapted the space with sockets for work, this practice now has become not financially viable or sustainable, particularly for small business owners.


For many cafe owners, the issue isn’t just the lack of profitability but also maintaining their business as a social space for face-to-face interactions as per the local lifestyle.


These frustrated businesses are taking steps to address the issue, as some bars and cafes have turned off WiFi to deter teleworkers. 


Some establishments also display signs banning remote work during peak hours from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, while others allow laptop users but will ask them to relocate if space is needed for groups or regular customers.


The disrespectful behaviour of such customers has also spiked frustration as they often make requests including for the music to be lowered for their meetings, and even bring their own food. 


Additional Information:

  • Remote work remains a popular lifestyle, supported by numerous digital nomad visa and accommodation programs.
  • One of the benefits of being a digital nomad is trading a dull office environment for a series of trendy cafes in various global locations.
  • Cafes in cities like Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, and Brighton have also been addressing the issue of remote workers for years with cafes having already implemented policies to manage “laptop squatters,” including banning laptops entirely of charging an hourly fee for their use.

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