Every so often a creative freelancer just has to get out of the house. Usually to get in some caffeine.

We’ve become a modern day menace, apparently. Spreading our laptops and smartphones across tables and sofa, turning our local Starbucks or Costa into an office.

Marketing professors Merlyn Griffiths, from the University of North Carolina, and Mary Gilly, from the University of California, claim in a new study, Dibs! Customer Territorial Behaviours, that we cause rows with other customers and result in falling sales for the coffee shops.

Can it be true?

“Changing work habits have created a new class of teleworkers for whom the office is wherever they canaccess a wireless signal,” said the report, published in the Journal of Service Research. “They use the devices they have at hand – laptop, phone, purse, briefcase, backpack, clothes, coffee cup – and place them all on the table top and chairs surrounding them.”

Regular customers, who only want a hot drink and a chat with friends, are disgruntled, dubbing the cafe creatives to be WiFi Hogs. “They effectively barricade against others looking for a place to sit down and relax,” says the report.

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