An early look at the return to the office
- Lorien Green
- 3 Min Read
By Lorien Green, Marketing Insights Manager
While nobody knows what a full return to work will look like, or when that will happen, some employees are already back in the office as many states have begun easing restrictions. Returning workers may be concerned about leaving the office for lunch when they go back, and companies need to plan for that.
We’re reaching out to ezCater customers to see what “the new normal” looks like for them. This week we talked with Lisa, a Project and Events Manager in Dallas, whose office re-opened on May 4. Lisa handles all meeting logistics for several teams and has ordered meals for offsite warehouse staff during the past few weeks.
What is different?
“We’ve supplied Clorox wipes and disposable gloves in the kitchen for staff use.” notes Lisa. “We encourage our team to use disposable cups with the Keurig brewer, water dispenser or ice machine so no one inadvertently touches their mug, water bottle, or cup to the machines.”
For those who bring their own lunches or simply pop into the break room for that morning cup of coffee, steps must be taken to keep food storage areas sanitary and safe. Lisa’s office switched to individually wrapped cutlery, “because we were all fishing plastic ware out of a tray in our little kitchen and we don’t want to do that anymore.”
Even if your employees are comfortable leaving the office for lunch, options may be limited. When she returned to the office, Lisa found the building cafeteria and the local convenience store closed. For now, she and her colleagues either need to bring lunch or order delivery. Her team is still eating lunch together in a conference room, but now they maintain appropriate social distancing.
The path forward
Lisa observed that not all necessary precautions are obvious at first. “Reaching for a coffee stirrer, I realized that I accidentally touched three others.” Now, in addition to the individually wrapped packets of disposable cutlery, their break room is stocked with individually wrapped coffee stirrers.
Lisa’s advice for returning employees: be mindful. “Evaluate your environment and see what you find uncomfortable. I was fine walking in and then, reaching for that door handle, my bare hand, I don’t have gloves… and so the tissue box at the door idea was born from that. It’s just a time of building, learning, and looking for your own sensitivities.”
For more about the “new normal” for feeding offices, see 4 Ways Food Fits into Your Coronavirus “Return to Work” Plan. We can help you order food that works for the return to the office. Visit ezCater.com to find individually packaged items in your area.