Fi Coffee Badging

What is ‘Coffee Badging’ and Are Your Employees Doing It? 

Published by
14th March 2024

That’s right – another buzzword has entered the mix.

‘Coffee badging’ may sound a bit peculiar, but it is essentially when an employee comes into the office very briefly, taps in with their identity card, then grabs a coffee and mingles with colleagues for a short stint before leaving to work the rest of the day from home.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 full-time workers in the US, more than half (58%) of hybrid workers admitted to coffee badging.

The trend seems to be rising in popularity in conjunction with the increased return-to-office mandates we seem to be seeing. As companies continue to try and force their employees back into the office full-time, employees seem to be revolting against this by poking their heads in for a quick coffee and then slipping back out again.

A huge reason for this is that many employees enjoy having hybrid and remote working privileges; one in five workers dread working from an office, and less than one in ten (8%) want to be in an office every day. One study even discovered that companies that issued return-to-office mandates experienced no improvement in financial performance, and 99% of them saw a drop in their employees’ overall job satisfaction.

The tug-of-war between employers wanting their employees in the office and employees wanting to work from home has been going on since lockdown ended. And whilst some solutions are being trialled – hybrid working where everyone comes into the office the same days, a 4-day working week entirely onsite – we are not seeing any that seem to stick.

What employers need to do is reverse engineer the problem in order to find the solution; in this case, workers are dissatisfied with coming into the office because all the work they do in the office they can do just as easily from home (except at home, they can save money on travel, work more comfortably, and lessen commuting time). It’s no wonder many of them don’t want to come into the office, because there is not a clear incentive to.

This is where companies need to focus their efforts. Demanding employees return to the office without a real reason insinuates a lack of trust in your team. Instead, employers must consider the fact that the role of the office has evolved in the modern working world, and therefore focus on optimizing the areas of onsite working that cannot be mimicked at home.

The most obvious one is face-to-face collaboration. It can be creatively stifling to attempt to exchange ideas over a Zoom call, but in a meeting room you can bounce off of each other. In this sense, the office has taken on the role of an ‘idea hub’ whose purpose is to encourage cohesion and the exchange of innovative ideas – all the while strengthening the interpersonal bonds between colleagues and leaders.

So, if you would like to discuss how we can help assist you in optimizing your organizational effectiveness when it comes to hybrid working, and ward off the coffee badging mindset, please get in touch with us.

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