As the government drops the “work from home if you can” guidance, a snap poll from KAM Media found that nearly 1-in-4 ‘hybrid workers’ consider hospitality venues an acceptable place to work remotely. Download the full infographic here.

Pubs, restaurants and coffee shops are particularly attractive to younger ‘hybrid workers’. 26% of GenZ and younger Millennials saying they’d consider working remotely from these venues, compared with just 7% of over 55-year-olds who prefer to work from home or at a dedicated co-working space.

Restaurants and pubs are now just as popular as coffee shops as a potential place to work remotely, again particularly with younger customers.

 

‘Must haves’ for remote working in pubs and restaurants

The poll found that good WiFi, great coffee, minimal music, plug sockets and also great lunch options are the top five things that make a venue appealing for remote working. 17% of respondents were interested in a separate dedicated space for remote workers. 16% said they need to feel confident that staff are happy for them to be there. Feeling welcome is obviously important no matter what the occasion.

With less than 1-in-4 companies planning on making employees come into the office 5 days a week, we have a much bigger pool of hybrid workers in the UK than pre-pandemic and many don’t want to spend all their time working at home. It’s great to hear so many workers see hospitality as a viable place to work. This is a completely new visit occasion for any operators and can be key in attracting footfall, particularly at typically quieter times of day. The fact that so many workers say they’re looking for ‘quality lunch options’ suggests most won’t just sit nursing a tap water for hours either! A quality non-alcoholic drink offer, including hot drinks will be absolutely key.

“Pubs desks” and subscriptions

Pubs in particular are increasingly realising the opportunity to attract ‘remote workers’. The Betjeman Arms in Kings Cross, for example, is offering brunch, bottomless tea and coffee and that all-important plug socket for £15 per person. Last year Brewdog were pioneering the idea of a ‘pub desk’, offering customers a table in their bars for the day for just £7, including WiFi, unlimited tea and coffee and a pint at the end of the day. The offer was then extended to a monthly pass for £70. 

KAM’s poll found that 12% of hybrid workers would be interested in a monthly subscription for limitless hot drinks or soft drinks.

The industry needs to continue to think differently and give customers every reason to want to visit, whatever the time of day. More than ever we can’t rely on what has worked in the past. We need to stay very close to what is changing in consumers’ lives and think about what can be done to better deliver against those needs. The long-term growth in hybrid workers is just one of those shifts in behaviour which hospitality should jump on.

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