Providing food benefits to employees has become a popular trend for many companies, and for good reason. Not only do employees value these benefits, but they can also help increase employee retention and contribute to a positive company culture.

In simple terms, employee food benefits refer to when a company offers food as part of their overall employee benefits package. Examples of such benefits include office canteens, catered lunches, free office snacks, or daily food allowances. Many well-known companies, such as Google, are renowned for their food perks, including offering free snacks and catering lunches made by professional chefs. Similarly, many startups and small-to-medium-sized enterprises offer free coffee or snacks as an office perk.

However, as companies transition to hybrid work models, it’s crucial to shift the way they offer food as a benefit to employees. It’s essential to provide food that caters to employees’ different lifestyles and working locations, no matter where they are.

Providing food as a benefit can offer an impressive return on investment (ROI) of up to 150%, according to a study by Eat Club. This is because offering food to employees can make them feel more appreciated and can contribute to increased productivity.

Food is a significant employee retention and talent attraction tool. More than half of well-fed employees state they are more likely to stay with a company and recommend it as a great place to work. A LinkedIn poll also found that 77% of respondents would be more likely to accept a job if a food allowance were included as an employee benefit.

Lastly, food fuels company culture. Food and drinks can be the heart of socialization and interaction throughout the day, and this applies to the workplace. As hybrid work models become more prevalent, connecting and engaging employees will become even more critical, and food can play a vital role in this process.

Lieferando for business is a flexible employee food benefit solution that helps employers connect their employees through food. The online and offline solution enables companies to offer food to their employees, no matter where they work. The Lieferando Pay digital allowance and Lieferando Pay Card provide employees with access to food, whether they are on the go, at a client meeting, working from home, or meeting colleagues at the office.

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The pandemic has already permanently changed mobility. More and more people are working in their home offices, saving themselves the way to the office.

The car seems to be losing more and more of its importance, which is of course partly due to the cost of gasoline. Many cities want to curb traffic in the future and are already developing appropriate concepts. Some cities already have traffic-calmed areas (also called “residential streets”).

At first, many thought that home office work was just a pandemic phenomenon and that the majority of people would return to the office. However, home office has stayed and is becoming more and more popular. Of course, it is important to remember here that not every job is suitable for the home office. This applies to factory employees.

Many managers were initially very skeptical when employees were sent to the home office because they feared that the work could only function with intensive contact between team members. That’s why many managers were initially opposed to home office work.

A study from 2017 was compared with surveys from 2020. The number of people who worked in a home office was just 17% in 2017. During the first lockdown in 2020, that number increased to 37%.

The number from the lockdown remained around 36% in 2022 after the withdrawal of workplace-based restrictions, which many would not have expected to be the case.

Today, there are more and more (hybrid) work models. There are people who work completely from home or in the office, as well as people who work sometimes from home and sometimes in the office.

Most people work about 2.5 days on average from the home office or on the road. The rest of their work days are spent in the office. The pandemic has steadily increased the percentage of those who work from home offices or on the road. Over 1/3 of people work just under half of their working hours away from their original workplace.

Especially high earners benefit from this, however, one can see a democratization in home office. Thus, in 2017, mostly well-educated and high earners worked from home office. Nowadays, this trend has also reached people with lower income and educational qualifications.

Again, note that this of course does not apply to jobs that are location-based, such as nursing.

The share of “click work” is increasing significantly. These are mostly low-paid jobs on computers or in call centers. The danger for exploitation exists especially here for precariously employed click workers, since they can no longer go to the office or organize in a union.

Certainly, the roads have become a bit emptier, but even today many people are still stuck in traffic jams for several hours when they drive to and from work. In Munich, the number of hours per motorist per year is over 70 hours(!).

This raises the question of why working from home does not alleviate traffic congestion?

The study “Mobility in Germany” from 2017 has proven that the home office reduces the number of kilometers and thus the traffic load. However, other transport services such as delivery services increased. The proportion of people ordering online has increased from 5.7% in 2017 to 17.4% in 2022.

So what this means is that if everyone worked as they did in 2017, the congestion problem would be much worse. Without a home office, traffic density would be about 1/4 higher!

However, there are isolated studies that are supposed to prove that online ordering with the help of bundled delivery routes could reduce traffic volumes under certain conditions, as customers no longer drive to the supermarket individually. This could work if delivery services were to join forces and “pool” their packages. So far, every single package and parcel is still delivered to the door by a large van, which makes it even worse.

Is there a cap on home office work?

Working from the home office is definitely here to stay. In the future, at least 1/3 of all employees will spend at least half of their working hours away from the office. And this cuts across all industries and hierarchies. This will have enormous consequences for infrastructure planning.

It is questionable whether new roads will still be needed. The fact is that car traffic is nevertheless increasing and the roads are becoming steadily more crowded despite home offices. According to TomTom, although the number of cars continues to decline, the number of kilometers driven is decreasing.

Implications for urban planning and business

Pandemic times have triggered a shift to home offices and online shopping, and this will not change in the future. As a result, local retail is under increasing pressure unless it is easily accessible on foot or by bicycle. Parking spaces in front of the door are not decisive. People today do not want to be bothered by traffic jams and full parking lots. Therefore, shopping malls should focus less on cars and more on greenery.

Does working from a home office exacerbate the housing shortage?

Quite the opposite. Many office buildings have to be converted and could then be made available to the housing market.

Will a 49-euro ticket help bring employees back to the office?

No, because even 49 euros is still too expensive for many people. For high earners, the high cost of commuting was the decisive factor.

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* Source: Der Spiegel (German)

Are you perhaps also one of those people who are often plagued by fatigue and listlessness in the home office?

Today we would like to give you a few useful tips on how you can actively promote your health and at the same time work in a healthy and concentrated manner.

Ventilate your workspace regularly

You sit at your workplace for several hours every day and sooner or later you are surrounded by “stale” air. You find it difficult to concentrate because there is less oxygen in the room air. The result is often headaches, frequent yawning and fatigue. It is therefore all the more important that you ventilate your workroom several times a day. This is especially important during the heating season when the room climate is dry.

Drink coffee consciously

We all know that caffeine makes you awake, but only for a short time and in small amounts. If you drink too much coffee, you quickly become tired and unable to concentrate. We therefore recommend that you drink your morning cup or your espresso after a meal consciously, i.e. not while you are working. Take a small coffee break for this purpose.

Drink plenty of water

Our body needs an average of 1.5-2 liters of fluid per day. It is best to drink this amount throughout the day, but especially in the morning, as this will help you prevent headaches and fatigue in the afternoon. Instead of putting a water bottle on the table, we recommend that you rather get each glass separately, because this way you immediately provide some exercise. By the way, this also applies to the cup of tea in the cold season.

Pay attention to a healthy diet

If you often eat very heavy and a lot, you will quickly become tired and unfocused, thus putting a strain on your digestion. A varied diet with vegetables, fruit and fiber is therefore enormously important to stay fit. You will find fiber especially in whole grain products and legumes. For breakfast, we recommend a muesli with fresh fruit, and for lunch, for example, a pasta with fresh vegetables. Carrots, apples and nuts are also an excellent snack for in between meals. Again, try to consciously focus on eating.

Release tension through movement

The often very rigid posture in front of the screen can quickly lead to tension and back pain. The ability to concentrate also decreases after a short time. In order to get your circulation going, you should make sure that you move regularly during your workday, for example when you are on the phone or walking to the coffee machine. Small exercises can help relieve your tension. These can also be done at your desk. In addition, we recommend that you exercise regularly.

Sufficient sleep

In order for your brain and body to remain efficient, you should make sure that you get enough sleep. If you go to bed at the same time every day and get enough sleep, you will wake up in the morning much fresher and more refreshed. Many people find it difficult to rest in the evening if they have spent many hours in front of a screen during the day. We therefore recommend that you stop using electrical devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.) before going to bed, because the luminous displays impair your day-night rhythm and thus lead to problems falling asleep. Instead, read a book, which should not be too exciting, so that you can switch off. 

Time out against stress

Frequent and continuous stress disturbs your metabolism and sleep. Therefore, take time out every day just for yourself to switch off and come to rest. Mental relaxation techniques are very suitable for this and at the same time promote your concentration. You can consciously counteract stress with simple mindfulness exercises. They have an extremely positive effect on your immune system and can also prevent depression and anxiety. Sports and sufficient exercise also ensure mental and physical relaxation. 

Maintain social contacts

Since you often work alone in a home office, feelings of isolation and loneliness can quickly arise. These quickly lead to fatigue and listlessness. It can help to maintain contact with other team members, even if they are physically separated from you. Contact your team members, write or talk to them. It is also conceivable to take a break together via video call.

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* Source: NDR

The world’s largest companies are taking different approaches when it comes to remote work. Some companies are closing offices completely, while others are trying to bring all employees back into the office. Depending on what works best for the company.

Dell Technologies, for example, has made it its mission to offer flexible options to its employees. In the end, the question for companies is how and where they can best achieve their business goals. 

So why do many companies still resist working remotely?

The most commonly cited reasons are as follows:

– not conducive to company culture 
– new employees may feel excluded
– working in the office is more productive than working from home
– career opportunities are significantly greater in the office

When it comes to remote working, Dell Technologies is clearly one of the pioneers of our time. For more than 12 years, they have offered their employees the flexibility to work from home, driven by the belief that work is an outcome and not tied to time and place.

The management of Dell Technology believes that such an approach can work for almost any business. They prove it themselves with their “Connected Workplace” hybrid work model, which has been positively embraced by employees, creating a healthy corporate culture. They deliberately focus on employee engagement, giving them the feeling that they are part of the company. As a result, Dell Technologies has built a diverse as well as inclusive team. 

The key to the hybrid work model is: flexibility

At Dell Technologies, flexibility means remaining agile, listening, learning, and adapting. Common myths of hybrid work have been debunked by employees. 

One common myth is that the company culture cannot be sustained. To this end, Dell Technologies recently conducted a survey on “team member engagement” and was privileged to find that this is not true.

Dell Technologies team members (94%) saw company culture and values, as well as work flexibility, as the most important differentiators compared to other companies.

People believe that customers and innovation are the foundation of success. People want to win together as a team and achieve results with integrity. Team members’ work results were consistent regardless of work style. This is fact for team members who have been with the company for many years as well as team members hired in the last 2 years.

This result shows that as a team, you don’t necessarily have to sit and work together in a physical building for the company culture to be sustained. In the end, you are united by your shared values, strong company culture, and common purpose, not by where you work.

Integrate new members into the team

Another common myth about hybrid working is that new team members often feel left out because they lack proximity to the team. Dell Technologies can disprove this myth as well.

Team members who were hired in the early stages of the pandemic feel just as much a part of the team and were able to build strong relationships within the team. A higher turnover could not be found in this context. More than 90% of team members find Dell Technologies has an inclusive culture for all and feel a sense of belonging.

This is attributed to purposeful action aimed at driving inclusion and connection. To this end, resources such as special mentoring programs, numerous group opportunities and various events are used to foster and strengthen the team’s sense of community.

There is also a global interactive event series called “The Great Reconnect” to intentionally engage team members and showcase the various resources that bring the employee philosophy to life.

Equal career opportunities for all

A third common myth is that team members have greater learning and career opportunities in the office. Dell Technologies team members (90%) say that every employee has the opportunity to grow and learn new skills. This is true for employees who work remotely as well as those who work in the office.

There would be no significant differences in performance, engagement or rewards between remote or office locations. This is also the view of team members themselves, who do not feel that office-based employees are favored over those who work remotely.

With a high-performing culture at Dell Technologies and a wide range of on-demand virtual learning solutions, individual team members can be targeted to help them achieve their career goals, regardless of where they work. 

Dell University’s mission is to help team members develop skills for the future, transform agility and build leaders. Even during the pandemic, Dell continued to innovate, deliver products and introduce new offerings to customers – under exceptionally difficult circumstances.

The magic word is flexibility

Offering flexibility through hybrid work models is working very well, at least for Dell Technologies. The focus is on performance, balance, connection and inclusion. They strive for excellence and say about themselves “We are satisfied, but never satisfied.” There is pride, but they remain humble and strive to continuously improve hybrid work. 

The future of work is looked forward to with optimism and confidence. In this regard, great emphasis continues to be placed on creativity and inspiration for implementation. At Dell Technologies, they also try to continue to focus on preserving and strengthening the very special corporate culture and the strong track record of the last 38 years (!). 

Dell Technologies is committed to help every team member do his/her best, regardless of where he/she works from. They believe other companies should do exactly the same, especially given the ever-increasing need for top talent. Hybrid work models allow employers to recruit and hire from anywhere in the world, which is a huge advantage for the company as well as the employees.

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* Source: Dell Technologies

The Otto Group (Bonprix, Hermes Fulfilment, OTTO and Otto Group Holding amongst others) has decided to lower the room temperatures in many of its office buildings to 15 degrees, in some cases even to 6 degrees. This measure is intended to save energy and to enable as many employees as possible to work from their home offices.

In an ordinance, the German government has lowered the minimum temperatures for private companies until end of February 2023. Offices in which mainly physically light and sedentary work is done will only have a minimum temperature of 19 degrees instead of the previous 20 degrees.

The step announced by the Otto Group at the beginning of October is all the more drastic. Of course, the provisions of labor law also apply to the Otto Group, so that lowering the room temperature to 15 degrees would not be possible if people had to work in it.

Employees should therefore work from the home office if possible. However, there will still be a few heated areas to allow occasional work in the office building. The two canteens and the fitness center will also remain open to employees.

This is to ensure that mutual exchange, networking and hybrid working will continue to be possible. According to the Otto Group, one positive consequence of saving energy is that new constellations can form among the employees.

And yet the Otto Group points out that there is of course no home office obligation and that employees are free to decide whether they want to work from home or in the office. Heated rooms are still available. Only the temperature in the rooms that are used less will be lowered.

The switch to mobile working will result in “relevant additional costs” for the company. The switch to district heating is also associated with high costs. The gas-fired combined heat and power plant on the site in Hamburg will be shut down.

The company is also doing away with some of its illuminated advertising. The illuminated signs at 60 Hermes sites will be switched off. At Group subsidiaries, the hot water in the restrooms will be dispensed and coffee machines, refrigerators and dishwashers will be switched off. Lighting is deliberately dimmed. Through these targeted measures, they want to “actively contribute to saving energy”.

The Otto Group’s goal is to reduce the consumption of electricity, gas and district heating in Germany by 15-20%. The measures have already been in place since the beginning of October and are to remain in place until end of March 2023.

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* Source: t3n