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Office Peacocking & Coffee Badging: Meaning, Advantages & Disadvantages and Opinions

Life at Work
Published on: Jun 14, 2024

There are many new phrases that are catching up in the work environment and two of them are ‘Office peacocking’ and ‘Coffee badging.’

It has been 4 years since pandemic has passed and many employees have switched from in-office to remote/hybrid work settings for good, but some employers are still yearning for pre-pandemic polices to be followed again by employees and it isn’t only happening in 2024 but also in 2022 and 2023, some major companies has also tried to forced its employees for return-to-office(RTO) by making it mandate but after employee pushback companies started to put work from anywhere which eventually led to increase in productivity. 

There are many new phrases that are catching up in the work environment and two of them are ‘Office peacocking’ and ‘Coffee badging.’ Office peacocking is like making offices look aesthetic and pleasant enough to lure employees back to the office. Whereas coffee badging means quick office visit for presence, not work. Like clocking in, grabbing coffee, then working from home. 

What is Office Peacocking? 

What is office peacocking

Companies are trying to renovate offices by changing its appearances and adding perks like game rooms, comfortable seats/chairs and bringing off makeover of office to make it look cozy enough for employees to come and work in-office instead of working remote/hybrid. These tactics that offer attractive workplace to tempt employees is known as Office Peacocking. A Glassdoor survey found that 79% of employees would rather have benefits and better workplace amenities rather than an increment in salary. 

Office peacocking is an attempt by the companies to give their employees a workplace environment that can resonate with them and give them a feel of home but at the same time companies are trying to manipulate their employees by making such an attempt.  Putting their own needs before their employees, if renovating a workplace is done out of kindness without any expectation of employees coming back to the office and disrupting their well-being.  

Why not put your employee needs first with Runtime HRMS by providing them with flexibility to work from home/hybrid or in office on their own terms.  

Statistics about remote/hybrid productivity 

Let us see what statistics say about the productivity of remote/hybrid employees. 

According to research conducted by Owl Labs 79% of managers in 2023 agreed that their employee's productivity has increased while working remotely/hybrid. Whereas 11% of managers see no change in productivity and the remaining 10% claimed their employees' productivity has decreased due to remote/hybrid working.  

This indicates higher productivity output by teams that work remotely/hybrid, therefore companies trying to use office peacocking tactics seems to be more about bringing back employees to office just for the sake of bringing pre pandemic policies rather than focusing on higher productivity. Companies that try to do office peacocking are showing signs of micromanaging their employees, providing transparency to employees is the least a company can do.  

So, let us change that with no more micromanaging and office peacocking because Runtime HRMS gives your employees transparent HR policies and helps them connect with HR at ease. 

A survey by Statista found that a sizable portion (30%) of the working population holds positions exclusively in remote companies. 

The survey also revealed various hybrid work models. Approximately 43% indicated a mixed environment where some team members work remotely full-time while others work from an office. An additional 15% reported having the flexibility to work from home as needed, while 9% said their company offers remote work options for a specific number of days per week or month. Finally, the remaining 3% of respondents identified as solo business owners or freelancers who work remotely. 

What is a Coffee Badging? 

What is coffee badging

Those employees who work hybrid come to the office just to complete their assigned tasks on the premises and make it quick enough to complete the work and grab a quick coffee before they leave.  

As much as it sounds absurd the goal is to fulfill a minimal presence requirement, often due to a company's return-to-office mandate. Employees who coffee badges typically find working remotely more productive or enjoyable rather than coming to the office frequently and getting distracted.  

In the article of Indian Express comment by Navneet Singh, Founder and CEO of AVSAR was mentioned which was- “In the ever-evolving realm of hybrid work setups, this trend underscores the increasing importance of autonomy and deliberate connections. It is not just about style; it is about shaping a workplace where a balanced mix of flexibility and face-to-face collaboration is valued” 

Why are these terms trending in 2024? 

Coffee badging and office peacocking are trending in 2024 because they are both reactions to the ongoing shift in work styles. Here is a breakdown of why each term is gaining traction:  

Coffee Badging: 

  • Rise of Hybrid Work: Many companies are adopting hybrid work models, where employees split their time between working from home and the office. Coffee badging is a way for employees who prefer remote work to comply with a minimum in-office requirement without sacrificing their preferred work environment. 
  • Pushback on Return-to-Office Mandates: Some companies are mandating employees return to the office full-time, despite the success of remote work during the pandemic. Coffee badging can be seen as a form of passive resistance to these mandates. 

Office Peacocking: 

  • Attracting Talent: With a strong remote work market, companies are looking for ways to make the office more appealing to attract and retain employees. Office peacocking creates a more relaxed and comfortable workspace, aiming to make spending time in the office a positive experience. 
  • Redefining the Office: The traditional office cubicle farm is becoming outdated. Office peacocking reflects a shift towards creating a more collaborative and social workspace that caters to different work styles. 

Past & Present: Work Trends That Keep Going Strong

While office peacocking remained trend in 2022-2023 for the same reasons, there were some major trends we will unveil further. 

  • DEI  

The concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) have been around for decades, promoting workplaces that value a variety of backgrounds and experiences. However, in 2022, DE&I took on a renewed significance. Social movements, along with growing recognition of the benefits of a diverse workforce, led to a heightened focus on creating fair and inclusive workplaces. 

Companies are increasingly understanding that DE&I is not just the right thing to do, it is also good for business. Research by McKinsey have shown that diverse teams are more innovative and productive 

  • Employee well-being 

In 2022, employee well-being became a strategic focus. With mental health concerns rising, companies offered more support to their employees and started to pay more attention to their well-being in workplaces. According to research, in 2022 by Champion Health 67% of employees experiencing moderate to high stress companies and 33% experienced negative stress. Well-being programs became holistic (physical, emotional, financial, social) and leaders became well-being coaches. Flexible work remained king for a thriving workforce to sustain employees' needs and cultivate a positive work environment. 

  • Remote/hybrid  

In 2023, remote and hybrid work became the dominant model. While some returned to offices, most companies adopted a hybrid approach. Employees overwhelmingly preferred flexibility over full-time office work. 

To enhance the experience of working remotely companies are investing in tools for seamless remote collaboration, recognizing the wider talent pool and happier employees it brings.  

State of remote work - Runtime HRMS

A Collaboration Powerhouse Embraces Flexibility: Slack's Hybrid Work Success Story: 

Slack, the communication giant known for its collaborative technology, was not always a champion of remote work. Before the pandemic, their offices were the center of their world. But in 2020, they embraced change and implemented remote & hybrid work settings. 

Slack did not just offer a work-from-home option, they made it permanent. Now, employees choose their ideal work environment – office, home, or anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. This commitment to flexibility goes beyond location. Slack actively recruits remote talent, building a diverse and highly skilled workforce. They find the best fit for each role, regardless of geography. 

It prioritizes work-life balance. Employees design schedules around their needs, ensuring both productivity and personal well-being. This approach fosters a happy and engaged team that thrives on a healthy work-life balance. Slack also has no meetings on Friday policy so that their employees can work without interruptions.  

  • Tech in HR 

HR tech boomed in 2023 due to advancements in HRMS and AI. This dynamic duo transformed HR from a data-entry slog to a strategic powerhouse.  

HRMS platforms evolved beyond record-keeping, becoming central hubs for talent management, onboarding, and employee engagement. AI, meanwhile, became a valuable teammate, automating tasks, analyzing data for insights, and even assisting in the recruitment process. HR professionals were freed from administrative burdens, allowing them to focus on building a more human-centered work environment. 

If you are still hustling with administrative burden in 2024, it is time to change by automating your task with the help of Runtime HRMS which streamlines all HR tasks. Schedule a demo today! 

  • 4-day work week 

In 2023 the traditional five-day workweek was facing a growing wave of dissent. Companies are increasingly recognizing the potential of reducing work hours. This shift is not about putting in less time; it is a fundamental change in priorities. The focus is moving away from the outdated concept of simply clocking in hours and towards fostering employee well-being, maximizing productivity, and finally achieving that elusive work-life balance that so many crave. 

According to Drive Search article 33% of companies were offering 4-day work week as of 2023 and it is predicted that by 2025, 80% of companies will catch on to the same policy. 4-day work week is still a growing trend in 2024 which will not only help the companies but as well as employees 

Advantages of Office peacocking  

  • Uplifted morale and productivity: A visually appealing and comfortable workspace can make employees feel more positive and inspired. This can lead to improved focus, creativity, and overall productivity. 
  • Enhances collaboration: By design, office peacocking often creates spaces that encourage interaction. Open floor plans, comfortable communal areas, and break rooms with amenities can all facilitate spontaneous conversations and teamwork. 
  • Strengthens company culture: Investing in the office environment shows employees that their well-being is valued. This can lead to increased employee satisfaction, loyalty, and a stronger overall company culture. 

Disadvantages of Office peacocking

  • Focus on Form Over Function: A lavish office can feel like a facade, prioritizing aesthetics over creating a functional workspace. This can be off-putting to employees who value practicality and a space that supports their work style. 
  • Remote Worker Neglect: The emphasis on a fancy office environment might downplay the value of remote and hybrid work models. This can create a feeling of exclusion and disconnect for employees who thrive outside the traditional office setting. 
  • Manipulation Tactics: If the main goal of office peacocking is to pressure remote workers back into the office, it can feel manipulative. This approach can backfire by creating resentment and resistance from employees who value flexibility. 

Wrapping Up 

It can be concluded that there is no need for mandating back to office policies for employees that are already doing great while working remotely/hybrid and performing office peacocking tactic that can lead to disrupting work environment. Companies should implement changes in appearance and amenities only if they are being done out of bringing change for the better and not for the worse.  

Employees response to mandate back to office policy resulted in act of coffee badging as hybrid employees must make appearance to office and it is forced upon them so, until unless companies will not understand the true meaning of employee well-being such trends will keep on coming up.  

What are your thoughts on office peacocking & coffee badging? Are you facing similar instances at your workplace? 

Adapt to a new era of work environment by implementing Runtime HRMS to provide your employees flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime! 

About the Author
Prerna Rajput

Prerna Rajput

Prerna is a business student, is passionate about marketing. Her insatiable curiosity drives her to constantly learn and explore new things. With a penchant for writing captivating content, she adds vibrancy and depth in her work.