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Workplace Meals in the Age of Omicron

The latest in markets, vending, office coffee and refreshments.

Workplace Meals in the Age of Omicron

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As we began the new year, most of us did not think we’d be heading back into more Covid restrictions and business closings, but as the last two years have shown us, Covid-19 is unpredictable. With the emergence of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant and the significant surge in cases, many offices and workplaces are once again facing challenges with on-site work and keeping employees safe.

Thankfully, health experts are expecting this new surge to be a quick rise and fall; hopefully, additional and stricter safety measures will be temporary, and work-life can get back to (somewhat) normal. In the meantime, it’s important to take the spike in cases of this new Covid variant seriously and make adjustments to workplace routines to minimize risks to employees.

Rethinking office food
Pre-Covid, company culture often revolved around food: company celebrations, weekly team lunches, bowls of candy at the front desk, boxes of donuts in the morning, and salespeople bringing in goodies. Many of these things were a regular part of office routines that employees looked forward to. Now, food at work is a matter of safety.

For the foreseeable future, the days of communal candy jars and leftover cake in the breakroom are on hold. The pandemic doesn’t have to be the end of office snacks and celebrations, but they definitely won’t look the same. Food and snacks for employees now need to be individually packaged; shared coffee pots are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

New rules for lunch breaks
Throughout the pandemic—especially during virus surges such as is currently happening with the Omicron variant—safe access to meals at work has become a matter of risk reduction. Employees who leave the office for lunch may encounter long waits for elevators since most office buildings are limiting their capacity, which increases exposure risks. Employees dining off-site also face a higher risk of exposure to Covid at crowded restaurants—some in areas where mask mandates are no longer in force.

Even running out to pick up take-out meals poses some level of risk; many businesses are limiting food deliveries right now as well. Providing employees with on-site options for meals can help lower employees’ risks for exposure off-site, as well as limit potential risks posed by outside visitors such as food delivery staff.

Safe on-site solutions
Already a popular option for corporate breakrooms, BistroToGo!® micro-markets by USConnect® offer a great solution for safe, at-work meals and snacks on-site. Micro markets offer “grab and go” meals (including a wide range of fresh foods, special diets, and healthy options), snacks, and drinks, along with easy, contactless self-checkout. BistroToGo! markets also reward employees for every purchase through USConnect’s nationwide loyalty rewards program.

BistroToGo! self-checkout markets also offer a risk-free benefit to companies: the markets are installed and maintained at no charge. These self-contained, modular displays are highly configurable to breakrooms of all sizes, fitting into almost any workplace environment from corporate offices to manufacturing and distribution centers, hospitals, universities, and more. They are also fully customizable to complement each company’s corporate brand and decor.

Self-checkout micro-markets have been shown to boost employee satisfaction due to the very wide range of options available (truly enabling choice for everyone). Employees not only benefit from the convenience but can also make healthier food choices than those provided by a fast food run or restaurant delivery.

Micro markets are a great solution for helping to keep employees safe during the current state of the pandemic and beyond. For more information about BistroToGo!® markets, or to find out how to have them installed at your company, visit globalconnect.biz.

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