What's the latest workplace trend? According to The Wall Street Journal, the latest corporate perk is a barista who knows how to pour. More and more U.S. companies are taking a page from tech by installing coffee bars to keep employees at work happy, engaged and awake.
Companies are opening on-premise coffee shops that wouldn’t look out of place on Instagram. There is cold brew on tap and expertly pulled espresso shots keep employees from stepping out.
It is an uphill battle. Daily coffee drinkers spend more than 62 hours a year purchasing coffee away from the office with 75% of full-time employees also drinking coffee at work, according to a 2015 research report from Packaged Facts, a market research firm.
The shift follows technology companies, which learned decades ago that stocking premium snacks and providing hip areas for lounging can improve the office atmosphere, keep long days more enticing and encourage employees to stay at their desks. Now the idea is reaching the mainstream, including at manufacturers and real-estate investment firms, as they look for ways to revamp more traditional offices and recruit young talent.
At Jones Lang LaSalle’s Chicago headquarters, the “Club,” a seating area with a long coffee bar, draws younger employees, who don’t want to spend the day in a traditional cubicle, says Ed Nolan, managing director of workplace strategy. The company built out the space to feel like an “internal co-working space,” but it has become so popular that it’s now a spot for external meetings, Mr. Nolan says. Unlike in nearby cafes, “they are free to loiter,” he adds.
Employees can plug in laptops along the bar area while sipping traditional espresso-based drinks, pour-over offerings from local roasters, sparkling teas and green tea matcha lattes. Cold brew is offered on tap. “I keep it pretty legit,” says George Fero, Jr. , the lead barista at Jones Lang LaSalle who often uses ceramic cups in lieu of paper. Recently, Mr. Fero who works for Infuse, introduced some employees to a traditional macchiato, an espresso with a dash of milk.
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