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The coffee badging work trend is a reflection of the evolving nature of work in the 21st century.

Understanding the New Coffee Badging Work Trend

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The term coffee badging refers to the act of workers coming to the office just to have coffee, chat with coworkers, and then leave and work from home. This allows the worker to receive a figurative “badge” for showing up for a certain period, which is mandated for remote and hybrid workers especially. This may be seen as a resistance against the recent return-to-office mandates, which many employees see as restrictive and unnecessary.

According to the State of Hybrid Work Report 2023 by Owl Labs, more than half (58%) of hybrid employees “coffee badge” – also known as showing their face at the office and then leaving. This has raised a concern for companies, posing a challenge to traditional work expectations.

Ever since the ease of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are expecting their employees to work from the office. This shift back to traditional work expectations sometimes isn’t accepted by employees as positively as expected. Where 90% of hybrid workers said they feel equally or more productive when working in a hybrid format, 68% of managers believe that their hybrid/remote working employees are missing out on impromptu or informal feedback, causing a friction of thought between the two.

The implications of coffee badging might indicate a misalignment between the preferences of workers and the expectations set by employers. And sometimes, it also sets a wrong precedent for employees who intentionally try to visit the office more often. This often leads to a lack of trust at the organizational level as well.

While the desire for in-office connection is understandable, the coffee-badging trend presents challenges for employers. Balancing the need for a vibrant company culture with the practicalities of remote work requires a delicate approach.

  • Employers must consider the logistical aspects of accommodating a workforce that alternates between remote and in-person work.
  • Ensure that employees who choose to work remotely full-time still feel integrated into the company culture is a challenge that requires thoughtful solutions.
  • The coffee badging trend is indicative of the broader shift toward hybrid work models. Employers need to embrace flexibility and adapt their policies to accommodate diverse work preferences.
  • This may involve reimagining office spaces as collaborative hubs and leveraging technology to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among remote and in-person teams.

The coffee badging work trend is a reflection of the evolving nature of work in the 21st century. This practice can be a sign of friction and misalignment between the needs and preferences of workers and the policies and expectations of employers. As remote work becomes increasingly prevalent, employees are finding creative ways to maintain a sense of connection with their colleagues and company culture. Employers must recognize and adapt to these changing dynamics, fostering a workplace that values both flexibility and a strong sense of community.



Remote employees have become a permanent fixture of the modern workplace, due to the state of the world and the demand of the candidate pool. Check out our webinar with HR leader Jess Lupkes who shares tips for how to create effective, engaging, and collaborative remote teams. Watch the free webinar here!