Businesses can attract people back into the office – if the offer is right


Free food, free drinks and social gatherings can be effective in enticing workers back into the office, a new survey has revealed.

While 78 per cent of respondents still want an element of flexibility in their working week, free food, free drinks and more social events could be key to drawing people back to more traditional ways of working in the wake of the pandemic.

The online poll, by recruitment firm Pertemps, showed 12 per cent of respondents said free food could help convince them to change their working habits to be based in the office. One per cent of participants indicated free tea and coffee would be enough for them to ditch remote working, while social events emerged as a more compelling factor, with nine per cent saying they would consider returning for regular gatherings.

Tracy Evans, Group HR and Quality Director at Pertemps, said:

“Social interactions, team bonding and incentives like food and drink clearly can have an impact on the inclination of people to return to the office.

“An element of flexibility remains important to many, but it is interesting that just small changes in culture could be the key to encouraging people back into an office environment where there are many advantages for people and businesses.

“These findings carry important implications for employers seeking to optimise their workforce strategies in a post-pandemic landscape.

“By accommodating the preferences of remote workers, organisations can create a more inclusive and responsive workplace environment that advances employee engagement and well-being.”