Returning to the office post-lockdown: What it means for food at work

 

Over the next few weeks the government is set to provide more detail on plans for easing lockdown restrictions, granted things continue to improve.

These plans will include a roadmap for businesses on how they can start bringing employees back to work, outlining which industries will be prioritised and what restrictions will need to be in place within the workplace.

How this might play out practically for employers is still unknown but it’s highly likely that the office environment as we know it won’t be the same for a long time, with workplaces needing to adjust in many ways to accommodate working without close proximity.

Some government measures being proposed include operating “red-blue” systems — with two teams alternating weekly in the office, the closure of office lifts and canteens and limits on face to face meetings. 

So at a time when employee engagement, health and wellbeing is at its most vital—and fragile, how can employers adapt to support the needs of their workforce and protect them as we return to offices post-lockdown?

Technology has been able to plug a lot of the gaps. From video conferencing to collaborative workspaces, businesses are leaning on digital services more than ever to help bridge the physical divide and manage day-to-day processes remotely. 

A core part of the office experience that is also inherently social, is eating food at work. In a pre-pandemic world employees might quickly pop out to grab a bite, or sit together with co-workers in lunch meetings or break out spaces.

With none of this likely possible for a good while yet, tech solutions like Feedr’s Cloud Canteen will make the return to work easier for businesses who want to foster a sense of continuity by providing employees with a safe, practical and efficient way to go about this daily routine.

 

How Feedr can support businesses during the return to work phase

Swapping catering and buffet style meals to individual boxes

Getting together for a team lunch or having a morning pow-wow over a pastry platter will be impractical as we return to offices.

With Feedr’s Cloud Canteen platform, businesses are able to flexibly switch to individually boxed formats (with recyclable and compostable packaging), enabling co-workers to stay socially distanced – and well fed.

Help staff avoid the need to wait and enter local grab-and-go chains for their daily lunches

Helping employees to avoid the lunch rush at local eateries is another way companies can protect their workforce. 

Businesses using Cloud Canteen are able to add a click and collect shelf point within their office building, enabling staff to order their meals and safely collect them, saving long queuing times and close proximity to other people in local restaurants.

 

 

Supporting on-site restaurants and canteens with digital technology 

Feedr’s pre-order and pre-payment app allows on-site canteens to achieve social distancing by enabling payments via app rather than in-person. This offers staff a safe pick-up option by using collection points and notifications when food is ready to collect.

Catering to a fluctuating headcount

It’s expected that there will be a slow, phased return to work, with a lot of daily fluctuation on the office headcount. Office managers, who may usually order food in advance for a set or known number of people, will need to find new ways to cater to employees that avoids overspending and reduces food waste when employees aren’t in.

With Feedr’s Cloud Canteen technology and flexible individual ordering, employees place orders themselves for when they are in the office. This means that the only food arriving at the office is for staff members who are there. If employers are subsidising these meals for employees, they’ll ultimately only be paying when meals are ordered. 

Support the health and immunity of your workforce 

Right now, health and wellness matters more than ever. Eating nutritious, healthy food at home and when we return to work will stand us in good stead should we get ill.

For businesses looking to offer their workforce a wellness perk, be safe in the knowledge that nutrition is built into the heart of Feedr’s platform (and that’s not to say we only serve up soups and salads)!

We work with a huge variety of vendors across London all vetted for their health creds as well as their quality. We also provide full nutritional information for every single dish and enable staff to set food goals to help them maintain a healthy diet whilst in the office.

In Conclusion…

The use of digital technology for ordering and managing office food is going to be more important than ever in the return to work phase post-lockdown.

Supporting businesses during this transition and helping them to achieve the required social distancing and safety standards will play a huge part in Feedr’s effort over the coming months.

We also want to ensure the food at work experience is as exciting and delightful as possible, so we continue to build features and content that employees will love engaging with.

As the government lays out its plan for easing lockdown restrictions over the following weeks and months, businesses throughout the country will no doubt be carving out their return-to-work strategies. Let’s hope this next phase brings us a little closer to normality.


To find out more about how Feedr can help support your business during the return to work, visit feedr.co or get in touch with us at [email protected] 

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