Why ‘Coffee Badging’ Has Business Leaders Concerned

(Daily360.com) – As businesses move further beyond the pandemic, many would like employees to return to work on premises but many of the workers would prefer not to. This conflict created a trend called “quiet quitting” a term for an employee doing the bare minimum of work just to get by and then leave the office as soon as they are able.

If that weren’t enough, a new trend has emerged; it’s called “coffee badging.” This form of employee passive aggressive resistance is when a worker uses their badge to swipe in and show as present on the company’s electronic system. After they log in they’ll be seen by some fellow employees, report to their desk or workstation and stay just long enough to have a cup of coffee before heading out and going back home.

A company called Owl Labs, has tried to put a numerical value on the amount of workers doing this. They first determined that among the work force about one in five or 22% would prefer not to report to the office full time. About 37% would not mind reporting to the office but in a hybrid, part-time basis. And the remaining 41% would like to work exclusively from home. Among those percentages about 58% of those who would prefer the hybrid schedule have admitted to coffee badging and another 8% said they have not done it but would like to.

Workers report being able to get away with leaving the office because occupied co-workers don’t notice when they leave, if they have no meetings scheduled and are located out of the boss’s vision, it’s easy to vanish. It’s not just the workers though; Owl Labs’ numbers show that about two in three mangers have coffee badged with another 6% admitting they would like to do it. Less than 30% of managers reported wanting to be in the office full time.

Experts are recommending companies examine their company culture and day to day environment. They say companies should offer more flexible hours, encourage employee get-togethers during the day and ask employees to speak about their experience working for the company. They believe the more employees feel less restricted, the more it may improve their perception of their work-life balance.

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