British workers admit doing their jobs from the pub and on the bus


young woman working in a coffee shop hands over the cup

Britons spend 131 million hours a week working from coffee shops, according to new research from telecoms giant 02 Business.

Its findings reveal that two fifths of UK workers spending more than four hours a week working in coffee shops around the country, while many more get work-related jobs done on the bus, in taxis and even in the pub.

Flexible working
Over the last few years, there has been an increasing trend towards flexible working - whereby employees do their jobs from a variety of different locations, rather than just the office.

And now millions more workers will have the right to request flexible working conditions, thanks to new rules brought in today that mean employers must consider any "reasonable" request - not just those from parents and carers.

The aim of the new rules is to help older workers to continue working for longer, and younger people to take up additional studies or training while on the job.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "Modern businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and staff morale, and helps them keep their top talent so that they can grow.

"It's about time we brought working practices bang up to date with the needs and choices of our modern families."

However, the 02 Business story also indicates that few employees are aware of their new flexible working rights.

Coffee shop culture
Coffee shops are the most popular place to work from among people who already benefit from flexible working conditions.

And this trend is likely to continue as the new rules take effect, with more than a quarter - 26% - of Britons saying they would prefer to work from coffee shops if their employers took a flexible approach to their hours.

The study also found that 8% of workers get ahead by working in the pub, and another 6% make a dent in their to do lists while travelling on the bus.

One in 10, meanwhile, work from bed, while 7% multitask by doing work-related chores while they are working out at the gym.

However, while flexible working is expected to become even more common in the future, there are concerns over sensitive information being put at risk due to a lack of internet security and small businesses facing extra costs because of more people asking to work flexibly.

Liesl Smith from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) told the BBC: "We know from our own membership that more than three quarters of our members offer flexible working but there will be a small number of small businesses who just will not be able to do that, whether it's through cost or just from balancing their teams."