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by By Loren G. Edelstein | November 01, 2010

Thanks to the growing trend in telecommuting, more employees are setting up shop at Starbucks and the like. Business etiquette consultant Mary Harris offered some dos and don'ts during a recent event at the Richfield Regency in Verona, N.J.

Don't spread out. Keep your work contained to a small table.

Buy something. A good rule of thumb is to buy one coffee or snack every hour. Be a patron, not a squatter.

Be quiet. This is not the place for lengthy business calls or loud conversations.

Don't overstay. Set a time limit. One participant in the New Jersey session noted that her local Panera Bread cuts off a patron's Wi-Fi after a half hour.

Meet one person. Maybe two. But this is not free meeting space. For larger groups, make other arrangements.  

Tip. It's not necessary to contribute to the tip jar, but for a place you frequent regularly, it's a good idea to make nice to the folks behind the counter.