Employees are expressing frustration with phrases like “quiet quitting,” “rage applying,” and “great resignation,” reflecting their struggles during the pandemic. According to Forbes, as employees return to the workplace, they become more deliberate with their time use, spawning the “coffee badging” trend.
What is Coffee Badging?
The “coffee badging” trend involves employees coming to the office, having coffee, chatting with colleagues, and then leaving, essentially earning a symbolic “badge” for attendance.
It plays on the idea of physically being present at work, swiping the ID badge to confirm attendance, and then going out for coffee with coworkers.
After this ritual, employees promptly leave the office and go home.
The “coffee badging” trend is considered a form of resistance against recent return-to-office mandates. According to Owl Labs’ 2023 State of Hybrid Work report, a yearly power struggle for returning to the office is happening again this fall.
Big companies like Zoom, Meta, Salesforce, JP Morgan, and others are urging or even compelling their employees to return to the workplace.
Employees are resisting the return to the office for various reasons, as per the Owl poll.
Many are reluctant to spend time and money on regular commutes, and some companies still need to improve their work environment to make it more inviting, efficient, and stress-free, encouraging employees to return willingly.
What do experts have to say about ‘Coffee Badging’?
Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs, said, “People don’t want to spend time and money on frequent office pilgrimages if they’re just going to be sitting on the same video calls they’d be doing in the comfort of their own homes or on tasks that they feel less productive doing from the office. The data shows that many companies have more work to do to provide an attractive, productive, and stress-free office environment that makes employees want to gather.”
Does ‘Coffee Badging’ have a Negative Impact on the work culture?
Yet, the “coffee badging” trend may have significant downsides, highlighting a negative aspect of work culture.
Employees might start viewing going to the office as a chore to be avoided, potentially causing tension among coworkers. Those who spend the entire day in the office might grow frustrated if they perceive their colleagues taking advantage of hybrid work policies. Moreover, badging coffee may lead to shorter team meetings and undermine efforts to foster a supportive workplace environment.
In an interview with Fox News, career expert Greg Giangrande expressed that he wouldn’t recommend the practice of coffee badging to prospective employees.
“If you’re a coffee badger and you’re only showing up for an hour or two, your employer is going to know that. And I don’t think they’re going to accept that as showing up for the day for very long,” he added.
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