Many employees are actively resisting returning to the office, pulling out all efforts to find sneaky ways to keep working from home. This resistance stems from the growing trend among numerous workplaces to reinstate pre-pandemic working conditions.
Coffee badging is a creative way for employees, particularly Gen Z workers, to avoid returning to the office.
So, if you have to go into the office, they are making their presence really felt – then making a swift exit, hopefully unnoticed.
How ‘coffee badging’ works
Employees come to work, make an appearance, maybe grab a coffee, and talk among coworkers. They might pop their head into their boss’s office, to show their face.
After an hour or so they sneak out and go back to working a productive afternoon from home without the interruptions of their office life. Therefore they earn the ‘badge’ for showing up. Which is how it got the name ‘coffee badging’.
How to Coffee Badge
- Go to work in the office.
- Make sure you say hello to a few people.
- Pop into the bosses office to say hi.
- Ask some collages out for coffee for half an hour.
- Make some chit chat.
- When you get back to the office, sneak out. Don’t say goodbye.
- Maybe leave a jacket on your chair, and a bag on your desk so it looks like you have popped out.
- Go home and work from there.
Note: Do this at your own risk
Why do companies want their employees to be in the office?
When employees arrive at work and show face, it signifies their commitment and dedication to their job. It showcases their willingness to be accountable and reliable, setting a positive tone for the day ahead. Moreover, this physical presence allows for seamless communication and collaboration among coworkers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.
However, it is important to note that merely showing face should not be the sole indicator of an employee’s productivity or contribution to the organization. While physically being present is a prerequisite for engagement, the quality and efficiency of the work performed should be the ultimate measure of an employee’s value.
The casual interactions that occur during coffee breaks or conversations among coworkers can lead to the exchange of ideas, knowledge sharing, and the development of a supportive work culture.
Just to be clear, we do not condone coffee badging
Coffee badging might be ok for the seasoned professional, someone who has built up the street cred of working somewhere for several years.
Coffee badging is not recommended for college graduates or those who are new to the workforce due to the potential risk of getting fired.
Why are workers coffee badging?
If your employees engage in coffee badging, it could be considered acceptable if they are still performing their work and if it genuinely reflects their effort to connect with their coworkers.
People who are coffee badging, aren’t just being lazy or trying to ‘skive off’. Have a think about the reasons why they might be coffee badging;
- Your employees may be finding it mentally difficult returning back to the office to work.
- They might be finding it more productive to work from home.
- Working from home provides flexibility in terms of work schedule and location.
- This means the freedom to decide when and where you work, which allows for a better work-life balance.
- This flexibility also eliminates the need for commuting, saving both time and money.
- Working from home can lead to reduced stress levels, as there is typically less pressure and more comfort in your own environment.
So, what can be done about Coffee Badging?
As a manager or employer, it can be frustrating when workers consistently pretending to be at work, by showing face, but then are leaving early.
Here are a few strategies to help address this issue:
Clearly communicate expectations: Ensure that your employees understand the expected work hours and the consequences of leaving early without prior approval. Clear communication can help set boundaries and minimize misunderstandings.
Offer incentives and rewards: Recognize and reward employees who consistently meet or exceed their work hours. This can help motivate them to stay until the end of their working day and discourage early departures.
Provide a comfortable working environment: Employees are more likely to stay and be productive if they have a comfortable workspace. Consider investing in ergonomic furniture, proper lighting, and a pleasant atmosphere to make employees feel valued and motivated to stay longer.
Implement flex-time or remote work options: Consider offering flexible work hours or the option to work remotely. This can accommodate employees’ personal needs while still ensuring that the work is completed within the required timeframe.
Address underlying issues: If employees consistently leave early, it may be a sign of deeper issues such as disengagement, low morale, or work overload. Take the time to address and resolve these issues to create a positive work environment where employees feel motivated to stay and contribute.
Lead by example: Managers should lead by example and consistently demonstrate a strong work ethic. When employees see their supervisors investing time and effort into their work, they are more likely to follow suit. Remember, it’s essential to approach this issue with empathy and understanding. Open communication and a positive work culture are key to resolving this challenge effectively.
Last minute meetings: Throw in a last minute meeting here or there. This will throw them off when meetings will be, and they will get caught out if they are at home.