Office exodus set to fast-track flexible catering

New, more flexible models of corporate catering look set to accelerate after research found more than a quarter of UK businesses will either close, downsize or consolidate their offices in the coming months.

The coronavirus pandemic has fast-tracked a shift to hybrid working which will mean far fewer employees in office buildings at any given time.

More than half (53%) of businesses plan to offer more flexible or remote working policies, while 30% are expecting employees in the office between one and three days per week, according to research by YouGov for HR tech firm Applaud first reported by City AM.

Just 14% of employers are not expecting staff to return to the office at all post-pandemic.

The pandemic has already accelerated a reimagining of workplace catering with some caterers rolling out apps that enable office workers to pre-order food for collection or for delivery to their workspace and others providing the option to deliver meal kits and hampers direct to people’s houses.

Businesses are also set to place a greater focus on employee wellbeing as we emerge from the pandemic, according to Applaud’s research. Nearly two in five (18%) businesses said they would look to give employees better pay and/or promotions in the coming months while 46% would implement better remote working tools to ensure continued engagement and productivity in a remote working future.

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