If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that working from home is not only doable, but if given the proper support, it can be more effective.
Since it’s the employers that hold all the power—including the right to terminate—many of us have been forced back to the office, where we’re expected to sit in a cubicle, doing the work that could just as easily be done at home. If you hadn’t already learned that it’s less about the actual work you do, and more about the process of being seen as working by your boss, this should drive the lesson home.
What is “coffee badging”?
One survival strategy for returning to the office (while holding on your sanity) is a strategy known as “coffee badging”—coming into the office for part of the day, with the intention of seeing and being seen by the boss, only to finish up work at home. This often includes coming in a little late, to avoid the morning traffic, catching up with colleagues over coffee or lunch and talking through work-related challenges face to face, then heading home early.
Make sure it’s worth the risks
As with so many other aspects of working life, coffee badging comes with its own politics and its own risks, which can vary depending on who’s engaging in it. For coffee badging to be a successful return-to-office strategy, it does require being in a company that allows for more flexibility in terms of when you are required to be in the office, and when it’s okay to finish up work at home. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, some companies are monitoring the exact number of hours workers spend in the office; if this is the kind of culture you’re working in, coffee badging won’t be an acceptable option.