Office supply and stationery retailer Staples is opening drop-in business lounges to allow people to work in its stores.

The work areas, created in partnership with office space provider Regus, enables people who want an office environment, such as freelancers, to use the space and pay by the hour or rent it out for a set time period.

Initially, the concept will be trialled in four stores in Reading Swindon, Ashton and Sheffield from January. If successful, the retailer will roll-out the concept to the rest of its portfolio, the Sunday Express reported.

Regus spokesman Andrew Brown said: “It is a huge shift in how people work. And it’s not just for start-ups and freelancers, more corporate entities such as Yell and 7-Eleven are doing it too.”