Some travellers were unable to access WiFi in their hotel without incurring an added charge.

Belfast - Coffee shop squatters are the new anti-social menace, according to the latest academic research. But the perpetrators are far from sandal-clad dreadlock-wearing Occupy Dame Street wannabes.

In fact, this new plague is being fuelled by laptop-wielding workers, lured by free wi-fi, who take over tables by nursing a single cappuccino for hours on end much to the ire of other customers.

By laying out their laptops, smartphone and iPad on the table top, they effectively set up their entire office for the whole afternoon, according to the new report Dibs! Customer Territorial Behaviours, published in the Journal of Service Research.

Their prolonged presence in cafes often leads to territorial disputes with other customers as “changing work habits have created a new class of teleworkers for whom the office is wherever they can access a wireless signal”.

But it is not only our work life that is being tampered with, according to a constant stream of research that frequently highlights how the way we work, rest and play is being transformed by technology.

- Irish Independent