Are The Days Of Using Starbucks As Your Office Over?

starbucksIt's the perfect middle ground -- not your office cubicle, and not your mother's basement.

The local Starbucks.

The house that the Frappucino built has proved a popular workstation for the myriad online laborers who log their hours remotely. Walk into your local Starbucks and you're as likely to see a bohemian in wire-rimmed glasses scrolling through his manuscripts as a pinstriped corporate attorney preparing his latest brief.

But maybe not for much longer. As was reported Aug. 3 on the blog Starbucks Gossip, the electrical outlets at some of its New York City shops have begun to be covered up with metal plates, presumably to prevent long-term abuse by patrons. The person who originally posted about the trend, which was subsequently confirmed by other users of the Starbucks Gossip blog, made the following comment:

"If you are one of those people who uses Starbucks as their office, sits in a store for 8+ hours a day, putting all your files on a table, using a separate chair for your laptop case/suitcase enjoying unlimited free refills with your Starbucks card, asking for cups of water and refuse to to move until you are good and ready all for the $1.85 you pay as "rent," then perhaps your actions will answer your questions [about covering the outlets]."

As the unnamed poster notes, few would take issue if Starbucks is, in fact, concerned about their shops being converted into office space. If this actually is a trend, though, it's done little in the way of interrupting the success of the 40-year-old coffee empire. On July 28, Seattle headquarters made two announcements, both of which suggest that Starbucks' manifest destiny remains intact. The first announcement was regarding Starbucks becoming the sole owner of all branches in Austria and Switzerland, with its buyout of the holdings of minority shareholders. And on the same day, Seattle announced that the company posted record profits for the fiscal year's third quarter, with an increase of net revenue of 12 percent, up to a total of $2.9 billion.

A call placed by AOL Jobs to Starbucks corporate office about the electrical-socket situation went unanswered.

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