A Modern Recipe for Returning to the Office

Published on : 5/15/23
  • Coming back to the office after months — or years — of working from home can be a big transition for employees, and challenging for employers, too. It’s not just about facing a daily commute again. For many, there are major shifts in work-life balance. Companies need to make sure the details are communicated, but the most critical part of the transition is why the return to office is important and how the return will benefit the employee.       

    Employees aren’t just coming into the office to do their work. According to research from Microsoft, 84% of employees say they'd be motivated by the promise of socializing with their colleagues, while 85% want to be in the office to rebuild team bonds. Human connections enable employees to fulfill their desire to connect with coworkers, have access to leaders, build their careers and ensure a feeling of purpose in their work.       

    Culinary experiences are the ultimate connector. Think about how many conversations you’ve had while sharing a meal.  This opportunity to share thoughts, experiences and what’s going on in our daily lives is part of what binds us. Food at work fosters meaningful connections between colleagues and creates opportunities for collaboration, creativity and engagement.    

    Make Connections With Modern Recipe

    Modern Recipe, a Sodexo workplace experience food offering, combines the ingredients that feed our best selves with spaces that bring us together. Modern Recipe also makes it easy to grab healthy food at any hour — not just lunch time — as employees start to adjust to their in-office routines.      

    Modern Recipe’s weekly menus include entrees like a multigrain turkey avocado club sandwich, lemongrass and ginger grilled chicken, and cedar-roasted salmon. Modern Recipe creates agile, nimble food solutions as companies continue to navigate flexible office plans and create the best working environments for employees.   

    Hear From Our Clients

    We at Sodexo have partnered with many companies to implement the right food service solutions and help their people thrive at the office. Here's a taste of how we’ve worked with our clients from different industry sectors to develop solutions that fit their hybrid and flexible working needs and drive optimal employee experiences.     

    Insurance Industry

    Pacific Life Insurance, a Sodexo client based in Newport Beach, California, transitioned employees to an in-office schedule with a new perk in 2022: $10 toward lunch. About 90 percent of employees have participated. Employee feedback has been so positive that the company has decided to continue the free credit in 2023.      

    Financial Services Industry

    Our financial services client based in the southern U.S. has adopted a flexible, hybrid schedule for employees, who pick the days they work in the office. With the lowest in-office population on Fridays, the client chose to offer lunch for free on those days. According to the client, employees are satisfied with the program and the company will leave it in place for the foreseeable future.      

    For another financial services client, the ideal solution was a variety of food offerings throughout the week. In addition to free coffee and bottled water, our client offered on-site employees healthy fruit on Mondays, donuts and pastries on Tuesdays, breakfast tacos on Wednesdays and free lunch on Thursdays.     

    Manufacturing Industry

    Employees at our toy manufacturing client returned to the office in January of 2022. The California-based company welcomed them back with a month of free coffee, which became such a popular offering that it has expanded into a year-long program. A barista bar was built during the pandemic to support the coffee offering, and a second bar is planned.      

    With talent acquisition in mind, our client Genuine Parts Company focused on standing out from the crowd by transitioning to an entirely free food model. All food and drinks in the company's café, as well as vending and catering, are free to employees. The Atlanta-based company has found success with the program and is providing five times as many breakfasts and four times as many lunches as before.      

    Partner With Us

    Transitioning your employees back to the office doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. We can help by providing high-quality food that fosters beneficial connections and fits their flexible schedules. With Modern Recipe, you can enhance every touchpoint of the employee experience and create a workplace that helps employees thrive. Learn more about Modern Recipe.