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Coffee Badging, the new trend thats mostly done by men

trend at work: coffee badging

What is ‘Coffee Badging’?

A recent report from Owl Labs has shed light on a peculiar workplace phenomenon known as “coffee badging,” with 58% of hybrid workers admitting to this practice. The term “coffee badging” is used to describe employees who make a brief appearance at their physical office before promptly leaving to work remotely for the rest of the day. This practice underscores the ongoing tension between flexible work schedules and the push for a return to in-person office work.

Who practices them most?

Interestingly, the report found that the majority of “coffee badgers” are men, comprising 62% of this group, while women make up the remaining 38%. It involves showing up at the office, swiping one’s access card to register attendance, and grabbing a coffee before immediately departing to work from home.

The appeal of “coffee badging” is most evident among hybrid workers who alternate between remote and in-office work. These individuals often opt for a few days in the office but prefer the flexibility of remote work. For organizations that mandate spending two or three full days in the office, this practice serves as a workaround.

The report from Owl Labs, titled “State of Hybrid Work 2023,” doesn’t delve into the reasons behind the gender disparity in “coffee badging.” Still, it suggests that societal expectations regarding office conduct may play a role. This gendered pattern aligns with previous studies that have highlighted discrepancies in workplace behavior, such as men being more inclined to negotiate higher salaries than women.

Millennials are more likely to engage in this compared to other generations. This preference might be attributed to the distinct workplace dynamics for older generations and the relatively less established status of Gen Z in the workforce.

The ongoing debate between CEOs advocating for a full return to a five-day in-office work week and employees embracing remote or hybrid arrangements is evident. While flexible work policies offer a middle ground that accommodates both preferences, “coffee badging” remains a less-than-ideal solution.

The reason behind this trend

The practice of “coffee badging” has emerged from workplace policies that fail to fully meet the needs and expectations of employees. It serves as a reminder that the relationship between employers and employees should be built on mutual understanding and flexibility. Achieving a balanced approach that caters to the diverse needs of the workforce is crucial.

Ironically, coffee itself might provide a partial solution to this issue. A study suggests that offering free coffee is the most enticing perk to encourage employees to return to the office for good. This demonstrates the potential role of simple amenities in enhancing the appeal of the physical office space without resorting to “coffee badging” practices.

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