Lately, I have been coming across many comics and memes on Facebook addressing the “working at Starbucks” epidemy. Honestly, it disappoints me to find people belittling or looking at it in a demeaning way as if there is a general, specific work criterion to pertain to having a job.

Even some of my dearest friends find it uneasy to grasp that working independently can be, and almost always is, as serious and as energy-consuming as working in an office from 9 – 5. Sometimes, when my friends and I share what we go through daily by doing what we do; they always find a way to comment sarcastically about how hard it can be “to work while having my favorite iced latte”.

No matter what my reply to that statement could be, it takes a lot of explanation in order for people to understand that working independently is just as tangible as working anywhere. However, I have recently come to a point where I believe that actions speak louder than words.

That being said, I would like to highlight some of the differences between working at Starbucks and working in an office.

Firstly, since Starbucks is “not the office” you have to stand in the line and wait for your turn to order your drink and pay for it.

Secondly, the benefit of it not being the office is that you don’t get to stick to “Office Hours”, which makes the stress of complaining or waiting eagerly to finish the day vanish, at least your time is in your hands.

Thirdly and most importantly, unlike in offices, working independently, you get to use your personal laptop.

Last but not least, working independently makes me a company of just one employee. I am my own boss, I do my own marketing, finance, H.R, if it’s a position in a company, I do it.

The best part is that meetings can be done without having to go through the hassle of Cairo traffic, and, I still get paid as if I were working in an office.

To better highlight my point of view, I asked 4 people I see daily working at Starbucks as well as the below questions.

1- What do you do?

2- How many hours are you dedicating to work daily?

3- What challenges are you facing by working independently?

4- What is one thing you wish corporate people knew about working independently?

5- Are there tips and/or hacks you would suggest to anyone who wants to partake in the same path?

Here’s what the freelancers think about working from a coffee-shop:

Islam, S

I am an interdisciplinary artist, which means, I work as an artist and designer simultaneously.

I do sculpting as well as photography and filmmaking. My work routine is 7 days a week, around 5 hours each day.

The challenges I face in working from Starbucks are usually waiting for a table near an electricity plug, to be able to put my laptop charger in, and the internet connection, as most of the time I hotspot through my phone instead of connecting to the coffee-shop network as the internet is usually slow.

I wish people would be more aware of how hard it is to create art and how untrivial it is.

In my opinion, creating art requires more persistence than any other field. Doing the thing you love and making a career out of it is not easy, but it’s so worth it.

I have no intention of shifting my career, not even when I’m old and grey. To keep up with working in more than one artistic field, I use my phone calendar as it is more efficient and link directly to my planner and laptop.


Najla, A

I have always believed that if you have courage and determination then you’re able to do something on your own. Once you find yourself capable of doing something for yourself, on your own, you better go for it without hesitation.

Because I found all that in me, I have decided to apply my entrepreneurial skills in founding my own online shopping store as well as instructing Zumba.

I work from Starbucks every day except Fridays, and the challenges I face by working here are mainly low internet connection.

Before taking the major step of working independently, I have worked in a corporate office for 3 years and was never that fond of it. To this day, I find it hard to grasp why would someone decide to spend 8 hours a day stuck to a desk; while wishing to be somewhere else, doing something else.

If it’s about the money, then I’m more than proud to share the fact that I do make a good living out of my online store. I have never known self-achievement to really be attainable until I started working on my own, for this, I am planning to expand my online store.

Being my own boss is kind of bittersweet because I am the one who has to push myself forward and if I don’t, then no one else will. I have found that by appreciating what I do on a daily basis, I get motivated. Therefore, I have to admit it feels good.

Some of the best hacks in succeeding as a self-employed woman is time management and commitment. I am an old school, so I use a notebook to hand-write orders and daily to-do lists.


Ahmed, S

I am a life coach; even though I used to have a more “socially understandable job”, which is being an engineer.

Starbucks is where I meet my clients for coaching. I come here for 4 days a week, some days twice. The Challenge I sometimes face through working from Starbucks is the noise. I manage to remedy that by scheduling early morning meetings as much as possible.

I’d love to share that whether people consider your job to be a real one or not, it doesn’t really matter. What matters the most in my viewpoint is living your life in the way you find most suitable and reaching your self-set targets in order to meet your life purpose.

My purpose is to help people attain the life goals they’ve always wanted to achieve.

There are no specific hacks on how to attain achievement, as each person certainly operates in a diverse way. The only tip I would share would be that no matter what you do, make sure to do it your way. There is no ultimate way to work and be successful.


Nadim, A

I am an entrepreneur; I own a real estate company.

My journey started here at Starbucks. From managing my team to planning and arranging meetings with clients. Everything basically started from here. I have my own office now, but I still hold all my clients’ meetings here.

I come to Starbucks around 3 times a week and the challenge I face by working here is the internet.

Starting your own business is much harder than working in a stable 8-hour desk job. However, it pays off in much more different, and meaningful ways. I wish more people would be aware of the importance of finding what you love and actually take the risk to make it happen.

Even the money made by working in your own startup company feels different.

The hack I would share with every other entrepreneur out there is to efficiently use and take every opportunity and every piece of resource you have in order to reach your goal.


I believe that just like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, self-employed Starbucks goers are the same. I hope this softens your heart towards us independent entrepreneurs and have a newfound appreciation for any freelancing person.

Send this to both your independently working and corporate friends, as both can get a new perspective and associate.