Before the Covid-19 pandemic, working in the office 5 days a week was the accepted and practised norm. Then everything changed. The watercooler became the Slack “Random” channel. The meetings with colleagues and clients became meetings with 24” IPS monitor displays with no respite between calls. Fast forward to 2023 and we find ourselves in a brave new hybrid working world. Enter “Coffee Badging”.
What is Coffee Badging?
Coffee badging is a new workplace trend that has emerged as a fight back to return to the office initiatives introduced by employers in the wake of reintegration to “normality”, post pandemic.
The concept is a simple one. Workers are turning up to the office on their mandated in-office days, staying for a morning coffee and doing some work. Before long, they are then quietly sloping off again to the comfort of their home working environment. This earns the figurative “badge” of having ticked the box of showing face in the office.
What Effect is This New Trend Having?
There are two sides to this coin, and it’s worth exploring both the positive and the negative effects of this trend on workplaces, employers and employees.
The Positives of Coffee Badging
The benefits of coffee badging can be seen in the positive step forward for the reintegration of the office in today’s hybrid workplace. Even if people are showing their faces in a minimal way to start with, it is a step in the right direction for collaboration, growth opportunities and culture in the workplace.
According to the 2022 Owl Labs State of Hybrid Work study, which surveyed 2,000 UK workers, 47% of employees are concerned about missing out on growth opportunities and having less of a say if they are working remotely. This shows that It’s not all about catching up on the latest episode of whatever is streaming; it’s important about going into the office. There are tangible career benefits to be had by being actively involved in an office environment.
The Drawbacks of Coffee Badging
The very idea of coffee badging is a workaround of hybrid working mandates that require staff presence in the office. Everyone knows that one friend who finds loopholes in life and likes to explore the limits of the rules around them. People will find a way around initiatives they don’t like, and this is exactly what is happening here.
This loophole logic suggests a negative view towards the office and its place in the modern work context. 81% of employees surveyed reported being just as, or more productive at home, so their question is “why should I spend time and money getting to an office to work?”.
Other drawbacks come in the form of the reputational harm of the people engaging in the practice. If you are only showing up to the office for the bare minimum time, your colleagues and superiors may take a dim view of you and make assumptions about your commitment to the cause.
Office Culture - The Unseen Benefits of Workplace Proximity
When we swapped the office for the box room with a desk setup, housed squarely between the boxes of junk you never got around to putting in the loft and the exercise bike that is practically wailing from neglect, we missed some of the unseen interpersonal benefits of being in the office.
We may be biased here at The Office Coffee Company, but there is a place for productivity at work, partnered with your favourite cup of premium coffee and your co-workers. Those little moments of picking up on how a colleague is feeling, asking if they’re ok and in doing so, building a relationship are just some of the examples of what we’ve lost by being away from the office.
Many of us harbour some of our funniest memories from times when we’ve let off some steam at the office between work sprints. We’re not sure David Brent would have had quite the same impact on his team if he were limited to Teams calls and the office Slack chat. For better or for worse!
We aren’t here to say that everyone should be back in the office 5 days a week, but there is certainly value in having a consistent 1-2 days per week where we can be present, reaping the benefits it brings.
How to Make Your Workplace More Attractive With the Best Office Coffee
Coffee has become more than the sum of beans in a jar. It has become a culture. A way of life. Employers have wised up to the fact that a big part of providing a great work environment for their hard-working employees is providing premium quality coffee.
Here at The Office Coffee Company, we are experts in all things coffee in the workplace. Whether it’s the coffee itself or the machines that make the magic happen, we are the go-to people when it comes to ensuring your staff have a good reason to choose the workplace to get their tasks done.
Our 100% Fairtrade Puro Coffee not only tastes incredible and gives your staff the kick they need in the morning (and throughout the day!), it is produced with people and the planet front of mind.
If you want the perfect coffee to keep your staff engaged at the office, contact our team or download our brochure.