Sick of working from home? Want to safely support your local bar during this period of unparalleled upheaval (which estimates over 50% of hospitality venues will close)? Work from Bars may be just the thing you’re looking for.
For many, working from home seems like it will be the case for the next few months at least. Whilst this may have felt great back in March – no more long commutes, the choice of enjoying hot home-cooked lunches and getting to work in pyjamas until the daily Zoom meeting – it’s now becoming a drag, to say the least.
What is “Work from Bars”?
Work From Bars is a new, free-to-use initiative created by Fraser Campbell (Global Brand Ambassador for Dewar’s and co-founder of Global Bartender Exchange) aimed at getting people out of their homes, and helping them to find spaces in local bars to work from during the day.
We spoke to Fraser about how the idea had come about:
“I work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Dewars and have worked in drinks for 20 years. I got fed up from working from home as I’m so used to travelling and spending lots of time in bars. When the 10pm curfew was introduced, me and some other brand ambassadors were chatting and looking at how we could support the industry. We joked around, ‘Let’s get everyone drinking during the day’, which obviously couldn’t happen. However, the next thought was ‘Let’s get people stuck at home to work from bars.’ And that was that. I made a logo and started a map. I was blown away by how many shares it got on Facebook and Linkedin – something like 300. It clearly struck a chord with people and now we’re working to get people signed up around the UK […] and looking to take it outside of the UK.”
Since its recent birth on 24th September, the Work from Bars map has listed over 150 bars, with more popping up each day (be sure to follow them on social media to stay up-to-date), and more than 15,000 views. Many are in London but as news of the initiative spreads, more and more bars from other cities are being added.
Venues can sign up to an interactive map that anyone can access, giving people bored of working from home the chance to get out there and support small businesses, with the sense of security that they will be warmly welcomed for a full day of work (and those after work drinks – you’re in a bar already, so why not?!). The Work from Bars map lists venues’ opening hours, food & drinks options, WiFi availability, pet-friendly notices and whether they accept walk-ins or bookings. Naturally, all venues listed adhere to strict COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing guidelines.
“I’m not saying that everyone can work from bars every day”, says Fraser “but if everyone who can do so once or twice a week, that would make a huge difference to the bar scene, as well as to people’s lives. Everyone’s in danger of becoming a shut-in if they don’t tease themselves out of the house a bit.”
With Tier 2 status, regional restrictions, curfews and lockdowns coming into effect throughout the UK, it is of course important to pay attention to what is going on in your local area and also to keep yourselves and venue staff safe by wearing masks whilst walking to the bathroom, washing your hands regularly, and staying home if you or anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms. For those who are able to safely venture out for a bit of a change of scenery though, this could be a great way to break up the work week, increase productivity and help sustain the hospitality industry that is responsible for three million jobs around the UK and is suffering terribly.
Want to Add a Bar to the Work from Bars Map?
If you want to get a venue on the Work From Bars map (tiny.cc/workfrombars) to get people down during the day to enjoy all your tasty daytime offerings, please send an email with the following in as much detail as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also spread the news to your favourite local venues and let me know about the map.