With electricity bills skyrocketing and inflation at 10.1 per cent, Toby Walne heads to the pub. Not to drown my sorrows, but to assess whether working in a pub (WFP) – rather than at home or in an office – might make financial sense.

The Port Jackson pub in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire has a reputation as a great place for young people to have a few drinks before heading to the nearest nightclub at the weekend.

But at 9am on a cold Tuesday morning, I hope the atmosphere at the Spoons (as JD Wetherspoon-owned pubs are often called) is more conducive to work than play.

Stay as long as you like: Pub customers like Toby are welcomed by JD Wetherspoon pubs across the country

There are already a dozen hardcore regulars inside – some of whom were waiting in line to get in before it opened at 8am. They are quick to the second pint.

But I’m not there to drink or enjoy a hearty breakfast. I intend to do the hard work of the day.

Such pub-based customers are welcomed by JD Wetherspoon pubs across the country.

Bartender Ian enthusiastically greets me, despite the fact that I admitted that I only came for work. He says people like me are welcome all day.

He hands over a white porcelain mug and says that for £1.25 I can get as much coffee as I can drink from the two machines on the ground floor and the third floor.

I initially go for a flat white, but I could have a cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate or tea. There is also semi-skimmed milk and sugar. For Gwyneth Paltrow types, both oat milk and decaffeinated coffee and tea are provided.

The coffee lacks that of a good coffee shop, but it’s passable – and leagues better than the filter stew you find in the office.

Ian points me in the direction of a dozen tables with power cables – several with USB ports as well. But he suggests I’d like to park upstairs in the booth, where it’s quieter.

I chose to work on the ground floor – taking my time to watch customers come and go.

By 10am, people pop in for a full English breakfast that costs less than a fiver. There is a low hum of conversation, but nothing compared to the social noise I encounter in the office.

Sitting in a comfortable leather chair behind a 6-foot-long desk, there’s plenty of room to work unobstructed. I access the free Wi-Fi without requiring a password. However, I am confused by the warning that other people can see the information I send over the network.

Despite the hubbub of a surprisingly busy pub, I don’t get distracted and make phone calls so I won’t be heard or annoy others.

Most of the pub job ads feature young people. There are four other “working” customers sitting nearby. But with energy prices set to rise this month, bartender Ian expects the numbers to rise.

Spoons, however, are mostly full pensioners. A gray army of 60 fills the place for lunch. Many flock to the Steak Club on Tuesdays, where an 8oz steak, chips and drink costs a bargain £8.05. I’m tempted, but I resist.

The temperature in the pub is 18 degrees Celsius, so a jumper is a must. But at home it’s 13 degrees if I don’t turn on the heating.

Energy companies must now normally charge no more than 10.33p per kilowatt hour (kWh) for gas and 34.04p per kWh for electricity. When I turn on the central heating at home with a 24kW gas boiler, it costs almost £2.50 an hour to heat the house.

Simply switching on one 2kW electric hob for eight hours will cost more than £5. Including the cost of lighting, powering the laptop, phone and printer, and boiling the kettle during tea or coffee breaks, the cost of working at home is at least £10 – compared to £1.25 per seat at Spoons. Above, Rihanna Wilson, 26, keeps her laptop and two phones close at hand. She wears noise-canceling AirPods (sensible). She says, “I find it difficult to achieve anything at home, while the office can be a distraction.

“This pub is the perfect place for me to work efficiently.” Rihanna is planning the warehouse for the cleaning firm she works for and intends to spend the day using the pub as an office. Her only expenses are £4.50 for eggs benedict for lunch and an 89p tonic. Another customer who works at the pub is local comedian Paddy Lennox. Although he’s not a regular, the 54-year-old says the change of scenery helps when he’s struggling with new material.

He says, “When I’m having writer’s block, a change of scenery can be the catalyst to get my creative juices flowing – even without alcohol passing my lips.”

For my part, at lunchtime I start to get distracted by a conversation nearby – someone has lost a cat and another needs advice on how to spend their £100 premium bond prize. As I answer the phone, the band behind me breaks into a happy birthday rendition.

When I tell my caller – a PR executive at a financial services firm – that the background noise is the result of working in a pub, she laughs. Journalists, she knows, are drawn to pubs.

Although I could save money, there are downsides.

Away from the noise, I need frequent comfort breaks as a result of overindulging in coffee throughout the day. Leaving valuables on the table while I go see the men is a risk.

By 2:00 p.m., temptation is getting the better of me. I order a steak tuesday with ginger beer.

Yes, I spent over £10 of the energy I saved by not working at home.

An hour later, the air smells faintly of wet beer bedding and greasy food, making it difficult to concentrate. I understand that a period of solitude at home is required in order to complete my work tasks for the day.

Will I be working regularly in the pub? Probably not, but I can see why working at the local pub is a trend that has stuck. This makes sense both for pubs and for workers like me who are out of the office five days a week.

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