The corona pandemic has made working from home socially acceptable in many industries and companies, and many employees have now made themselves comfortable at home. But this is increasingly bothering the bosses.

Because even if it seemed for a while that the home office was here to stay, more and more companies are emphatically calling their employees back to the office. They expect more creativity, stronger solidarity in the team and also higher productivity. The employees, on the other hand, are sometimes not very enthusiastic about it – and some try to circumvent the requirements. This is how the “coffee badging” trend came about.

The following phenomenon lies behind this: Many companies allow their employees to work from home, but require a certain number of days of attendance in the office. Anyone who practices “coffee badging” shows up on site as required, but leaves the office again after a few hours. The main thing is to have shown the desired presence to your superior or to have clocked in for the day.

According to a recent survey by Owl Labs, a provider of technology solutions for hybrid work, 38 percent of respondents in Germany do this: “They sometimes just go to the office for a few hours to show their face and then go straight back home.” Another 16 percent say they would like to try it out. In the USA, 58 percent even admitted to “coffee badging”. They prove their presence with their digital stamp card (badge), drink a coffee and disappear again.

But that sounds worse than it is, says Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs. “Coffee badging provides the opportunity for flexible scheduling, which is incredibly important for workers,” he told CNBC. Many employees would certainly appreciate the office when it comes to conferences and exchanges with colleagues. However, the traditional eight-hour day at work is “no longer that relevant” for her.

A total of 12,000 workers in the USA and Europe were surveyed for the study, including 2,000 in Germany. Of the German respondents, 61 percent were in favor of a legal right to work from home. A third of those surveyed who work fully or partially from home would consider quitting if their employer asked them to come to the office. Seven percent would even quit their job immediately.

The mood on the employer side is different. According to a survey of 1,300 business managers by the consulting firm KPMG, almost two thirds of those surveyed are in favor of a full return to the office within the next three years. Office workers currently come to work an average of 3.2 days a week, shows a survey by real estate specialist Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Sources: Owl Labs / CNBC / Jones Lang LaSalle / KPMG