Pubs, faced with rising taxes on alcohol and worldwide smoking bans, have had to quickly rally to find alternative means of attracting customers.
Whether it is by offering food, "family friendly" atmospheres, coffee or Wi-Fi, the pub is not simply a place you hang out in the evening -- and may indeed be replacing the traditional 9-5 office.
According to a survey of 2,000 adults by Wi-Fi provider The Cloud, people are increasingly turning to the pub as a secondary workstation -- thanks to free Wi-Fi often on offer. Is it any wonder that we slink off for a drink during working hours, as working from home and flexible schedules become more firmly ingrained in business strategy (Yahoo aside)?
It's the ability to connect that remains important. The survey found that four in five employees piggy-back on pub Wi-Fi to check their email, while one in five have sent messages to management to pretend they are hard at work. Not only this, but one in six have taken a video conferencing call while enjoying their favorite ale, and on average, 25 emails a week were sent by those who frequent the pub while working.
Pubs may be becoming more flexible social spaces, but perhaps our inability to turn off due to the expansion of mobile technology is truly the catalyst.
Image credit: Stefano Mortellaro
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