Ah, just when you thought, how many more workplace trends?
Ever since the pandemic hit, we've seen a parade of ideas shaping the way we work. We've had the Quiet Quitting, the Loud Labourers, Bare Minimum Mondays, the Grumpy Stayers and more—they've kept us entertained, for sure! Now, let's welcome the newest stars on the scene: Office Peacocking and Coffee Badging. These are the latest creations born out of return-to-office mandates by big shots like Meta, Google, Citigroup and several others.
But hey, where there's a shift, there's a comeback! Employees, being the creative wizards they are, always have a trick up their sleeves. And bosses, they're not far behind! Remember when Quite Quitting was the trend? Well, employers fired back with Quiet Cutting. And now, as the bosses try to impress their workforce with Office Peacocking, employees just grin and say, sure, we'll add some Coffee Badging to the mix. Wondering what in the world these crazy terms mean? Let's dig in and unravel the workplace shenanigans!
What is coffee badging?
Coffee badging, a term coined for the act of making a brief appearance at the office for a few hours before promptly heading out. According to a report by Owl Labs, more than half of hybrid employees (58%) have embraced this trend, and an additional 8% expressed their interest in giving it a try.
Interestingly, 2023 witnessed a significant return of employees to the office, with 66% of this year's survey respondents indicating that they are back to in-office work full-time—although only 22% of them truly prefer this setup. Additionally, business trips seem to be reverting to pre-pandemic norms, as 54% of workers mentioned that business travel has picked up again.
Digging into the details, the survey highlighted a gender disparity in coffee badging, with 62% of men engaging in this trend compared to 38% of women.
Breaking down the trend among different age groups, 63% of Millennials are active coffee badgers, followed by 54% of Gen X, 43% of Gen Z, and 38% of Boomers among hybrid workers. It seems like 'coffee badging' is becoming a quirky emblem of modern work dynamics, with various generations putting their own spin on the trend.
Office Peacocking: What does it mean?
After an extended phase of working from home for many, when the call to return to the office came, employers became innovative before enforcing mandatory in-office attendance. The goal was to re-establish the pre-pandemic norm of dedicating 40 hours a week to office cubicles and desks.
Recognising the need to create an inviting space, efforts were made to inject a sense of fun and innovation into the workplace, giving rise to a new trend known as office peacocking. This trend aimed to transform offices into spaces that resembled homes rather than traditional corporate settings.
Benefiting from a hybrid work model where some employees continued to work from home, designers had more space to reimagine the office environment, pushing the boundaries of creativity. However, implementing these changes involved a significant financial investment, as redesigning any space, including offices, could be quite expensive. Companies assisting in this transformation charged substantial fees to achieve the desired aesthetic and functionality.
Despite the financial constraints, employers anticipated that creating an appealing and collaborative workspace would justify the expense. The modern office was increasingly adorned with features such as cozy couches, abundant natural lighting, vibrant accents, and living plants, all aimed at welcoming employees back. After all, post spending three years working from the comfort of their homes, many employees needed extra motivation to readjust to the office setting.
Benefits that actually entice employees to return to office
While enhancing the office aesthetics and comfort is beneficial, the Owl Labs report shed light on the key factors that truly motivate hybrid employees to make a return to the office.
Leading the preferences is companies covering commuting expenses (38%), followed by a desire for enhanced privacy in the office (e.g., dedicated offices, additional phone booths) (34%), and a way to track when desired individuals will be present (33%). Surprisingly, abolishing the dress code seems appealing, as a significant 24% stated they would be more inclined to return to the office if they had the freedom to wear their preferred attire.
Interested in staying up-to-date about the latest work trends? Stay tuned to People Matters!
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