As lockdown measures came into effect, many people were quick to predict the demise of the office. But now that lockdown is easing, it has become clear that the office isn’t dead. In fact, there has even been a renewed interest in Dublin corporate real estate as evidenced by Savills Ireland.
While the office may not be dead, we don’t think it’ll be quite the same when we return. The past 18 months have established significant shifts in the modern workplace, like the need to accommodate for more flexible and collaborative work; companies are looking at ways to navigate these shifts successfully by making the most effective use of real estate.
We think office catering can play a role in helping optimise this new workplace. Download our eBook on “Shaping the Modern Workplace” and discover the role of food in destination offices and the 4 themes managers should keep an eye on in the return to the office.
What is office space optimisation?
Workplace optimisation is about making the most effective use of the workspace, while allowing companies to provide collaborative and productive experiences for their employees.
It’s about developing spaces that empower your employees’ creativity and boost collaboration, while making their offices optimal and cost-efficient.
Why is optimising the office space important in the return to the office?
The Flexible office
The traditional concept of the workplace has evolved. Flexible working is here to stay, and employees do not want to return to working life as it was – 5 days a week in a downtown office. Across the world, businesses are making real estate decisions that prioritise collaborative space over individual, permanent desks. Businesses want to create opportunities for colleagues to feel more engaged with their teams rather than the physical space they occupy.
The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work. With the new hybrid work models companies will also need to adjust the office layout to ensure social distance (while saving up on costs) – for example, have you found yourself wondering why on earth there is an empty kitchen taking up so much of your valuable office space?
There’s where office catering comes into play. It might be time to rethink workplace lunches and find a solution that works during the pandemic and beyond.
Leveraging food catering to use office space effectively
How do you optimise your office space? Let’s talk about ditching that kitchen. Ditch the kitchen, but not the perk of offering food at work. Team lunches are key to foster company culture, encourage engagement and boost creativity – and you have to carve out space for it, because eating at the desk is killing your team’s creativity.
So, if you want to ditch the kitchen, but still offer food at work, as it is vital to keep employees happy and motivated, wouldn’t it be so much better to embrace delivered catering and leverage that office space for collaboration or even social distancing? Delivered catering services like Fooditude can make the process seamless and allow for flexibility with fluctuating headcounts.
Employee wellbeing is front and centre
Whether it is putting social distancing safety measures in place or implementing robust wellbeing programs, workplaces are taking the mental and physical health of their employees seriously. Providing easy access to healthy food in the workplace nourishes people and enhances collaboration. It also helps reassure commuting-hesitant employees that a safe service can be accessed within the office on the days they choose to visit.
We’ve recently written this article about “Why food should be on the menu in your post-pandemic office” detailing the benefits of offering food in the office.
Why is office catering good for your business? Let’s do the math.
We’re not joking when we say delivered-in models can save companies a lot of money. Take a look at these stats for one of our tech clients in Soho, London:
– Headcount: 500
– Kitchen space needed if cooking onsite: 3000sq’
– Kitchen set-up cost: £500k
– Real estate cost @£80/sq ft: £240k/pa
– Labour cost for 5 chefs: £200k/pa
With our service this client was able to:
- Save nearly £500k in kitchen fitting costs
- Reduce their real estate footprint and use the space for more flexible purposes like events and casual meetings
- Eliminate the need for chefs onsite, reducing labour costs by £200k/pa
- Offer the same service as an on-site canteen with a full front of house team.
What’s more? Our delivery service kept things flexible for our client during the first few weeks of the pandemic as the headcounts were fluctuating and now, as they have started a gradual return. It has also saved them money, without compromising on their teams’ experience.
As offices become more of a destination and need for office space optimisation grows, these numbers speak clearly in favour of ditching the kitchen and embracing delivered catering.
We believe food = happiness and our delicious food paired with our delivered-in model has been helping teams stay happy at work since 2005. If you’d like to explore the role of food in the destination office, why not download our full guide?