At Work

Cafeterias in the New Normal

Cafeterias have become the hub of business in today’s workplace. The corporate world now recognizes the need to incorporate cafeterias into work tools as part of the restructuring of the workplace to meet the demands of social distancing. Cafeterias are now ideal for meetings and events. This new idea embraces utilizing the cafeteria to maintain productivity and social interaction among employees. The ability to work individually, or in a team setting, while eating and having coffee is a natural progression of the times and a popular business trend.

Individuals at work tend to gravitate to areas of socialization. The cafeteria has traditionally been a place of rest, where employees can seek a moment of relaxation and can recharge their batteries. For some workers, it’s also an opportunity to hold strategic personal meetings that are difficult to set up in the normal course of the business day. Meeting over a quick meal is also ideal for small groups to chat about business projects and ideas. A cafeteria at work can be designed to provide much needed breaks throughout the day as well as an opportunity to unwind from the stress of computer screens and telephones. The future of business may be the move towards a creative, fun place for workers to eat and talk.

Modern employers can create cafeterias with a variety of work tools that can also facilitate social interaction among employees. A contemporary cafeteria may include espresso machines, big screen televisions, WiFi, and tablets. The cafeteria can be transformed into a space to work and socialize. Returning to a sense of normality is vital to the economy and corporate profitability.

The new cafeteria has a focus on collaboration among employees via individual or team meetings. Meals can be shared in larger spaces or dining rooms can be organized into smaller, safer spaces. The common value of a good meal or a strong cup of coffee should not be lost due to social distancing guidelines as they have always been conducive to building solid business relationships. Cafeterias can help maintain consistency of regular meetings for the growth of these important relations.

Cafeterias have a stress-free vibe since it has been a place to meet friends since elementary school. In order to create a work environment, cafeterias can be designed with tables and chairs to simulate work stations or home offices. Breakfast bars can also be featured, including an open kitchen with seating areas to resemble a large conference room with plenty of coffee and a catering section.

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The cafeteria is valuable for its versatility. Seating can be flexible in a cafeteria setting, according to the needs of the company. Seats can be arranged for a particular project or set in private booths to encourage more one-on-one interaction. This flexibility is especially essential in the era of social distancing. Utilizing the cafeteria as a work tool can promote employee health and safety, which may result in greater creativity and empowerment.

Transforming the cafeteria, much like the changes in so many aspects of our daily lives, is consistent with adapting to the new normal. Corporations are aware that food is a cultural theme and essential to employee satisfaction. The traditional cafeteria will soon appear one dimensional. A modern cafeteria may be in use the entire work day, perhaps with staggered hours, less on-site food preparation, and more contactless vending machines. As the collective perceptions and behaviors evolve, employers should meet the new expectations of employees with regard to food and safety. Employers value productivity and must also recognize that employees will accept the flexibility so long as it does not affect the quality of their meals at work.

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