The hybrid model has passed the acid test. It works. Better work-life balance, reduced burnout and, for most, increased productivity. The benefits of flexible working definitely outweigh the costs. Which begs the question, does time in the office still matter, and if so, how can you encourage your team to come in? What role can food play in incentivising your people to commute to the office in the morning?
The Big Picture
UK employees spend an average of 1.4 days in the office per week, compared to 3.8 days pre-pandemic
80% of employees who worked from home during the pandemic now prefer a hybrid working model
Young employees (16-24 year olds) would rather work from the office than home
70% of UK employees report experiencing loneliness as a result of working from home full time
Why in-person time is still important
Research shows that UK employees favour hybrid working, but what's gained in flexibility, freedom and focus, comes at the cost of social isolation. It would seem that happy, productive, inclusive workplaces still need a consistent dose of old fashioned, face-to-face interaction.
We're human. We need to socialise.
Remote work's biggest pitfall is the lack of social connection, impacting employees' motivation, engagement and overall mental health. Without the camaraderie of a shared space, the workday can feel insular and isolating.
To collaborate & cultivate community.
No amount of digital communication can completely replace the need for in-person interaction. We need eye contact and body language to fully express opinions, bring ideas to life and build rapport.
For training & onboarding.
For new members joining a team, and especially those just entering the world of work, observation is vital for learning. Remote onboarding restricts knowledge sharing, access to support and assimilation into company culture.
What's important now is making your employees want to return. Repositioning your workplace as a destination that brings belonging to life. A space that enhances the work experience and enables people to connect and benefit from being together.
If employers want to encourage their teams back to the office, the quality of workplace experience is everything. People want to be in spaces that energise them and make their workday more pleasurable, so perhaps it's time for organisations to reimagine the purpose of their physical space. Does the office evolve to take the shape of a collaboration hub or wellbeing centre? A space made commute-worthy because it nourishes the need for connection?
The power of convenient office food and how you can use it
Food has emerged as one of the most commonly used incentives to encourage employees back to the office post-pandemic, with research putting it at the top of the list of employee requests. According to a study of more than 1,000 UK businesses and industry workers, 77% of employees said they would be tempted back to the office with food or drink.
More than just a perk for employees, food offers reciprocal business benefit in the rebuilding of social capital and company culture. So, how can your business leverage quality food to incentivise time spent on-site?
Host on-site activities and events.
From inviting inspiring speakers to organising wellness workshops, consistently make time in the company calendar for in-person get-togethers that bring excitement and vibrancy to the office experience. This doesn't have to mean breaking the bank - even an hour of the team's favourite TED Talks over a healthy lunch constitutes a fun and engaging 'Lunch & Learn'.
Get round the table for a weekly team meal.
To energise at the beginning of the week, or to celebrate achievements at the end, getting everyone around the table for a team lunch is a great organic way to encourage time spent together in the workplace. Served as individual, seasonal bowls or sharing-style platters, this consistent contribution really shows your team that you appreciate them, while simultaneously fortifying your culture.
Create a food culture centred on convenience.
Reward day-to-day office use by making life that little bit easier for those that make the commute. Keep the office fridge stocked with nutritious, flavour-packed meals and snacks so your team can work productively without worrying about standing in cold queues. The ultimate in-office perk to fuel engagement and boost wellbeing.
At CANTEEN, we make feeding your team easy. From the provision of delicious ready-to-eat meals fresh out the office fridge, to beautiful platters for events and team days, we've got you covered. Contact us to find out more about how we could support your team with convenient access to healthy office food.