What is 'coffee badging'? New trend a response to 'return-to-work'

Let's be honest: Who really enjoys going into the office for work?

With more companies telling employees to say their goodbyes to WFH life, many are getting sneaky with how long they actually stay there.

This includes what's become known as "coffee badging."

Here’s how it works: Employees come to work and show face, maybe grab a coffee and talk among coworkers. Then, after a little while, they leave and therefore earn a theoretical badge for showing up.


Source: Owl Labs

A recent survey from Owl Lab shows that 58% of nearly 2,000 employees on a hybrid work model admitted to coffee badging. TikTok also brought attention to the new trend.

"There will always be a way and an opportunity for employees to figure out how to game the system," career expert Greg Giangrande told Fox 5 NY’s Richard Giacovas.

Giangrande, however, doesn’t endorse coffee badging. After all, bosses may very well find out, he said.

"If you're a coffee badger and you're only showing up for an hour or two, your employer is going to know that. And I don't think they're going to accept that as showing up for the day for very long," he said.

Experts don't advise college grads or anyone new to the workforce to try coffee badging. It may very well get you fired. Instead, they say, try to enjoy the socialization, and think of the way work was supposed to be.