- Employees are showcasing their culinary skills in office kitchen nooks, reports The Wall Street Journal, pointing to the growing interest in better office kitchen space.
- According to the Journal, gourmet cooking in the office is a growing trend among young foodies. They're stocking their workspaces with slicers and other food preparation items and bringing in ready-to-make meal kits to cook and share with coworkers.
- In response to the growing trend, some employers are moving corporate kitchens into more desirable locations within their offices such as larger spaces with windows, the Journal reports. Some have added additional appliances or small kitchen gadgets that fall within building code requirements.
Preparing gourmet lunches can be a way for workers to relax and socialize in the workplace. Some might call gourmet cooking at work an employee-driven benefit — especially if the kitchen space enables socializing and relaxed gathering. Employers are paying more attention to creating workspaces that move away from cubical farms and industrial design towards creative spaces that give workers some flexibility in how and where they work.
Workers are increasingly looking for workplace cultures that they enjoy and which match their ideas about quality of life. With many spending multiple meals a day in their offices, a benefit like a nice kitchen may provide a differentiation point for employers who want to promote camaraderie in the workplace. Just as wellness rooms and onsite yoga gained popularity among workers, the kitchen may become a key part of the evolving workplace culture.
Many office kitchens are little more than coffee niches with just a fridge, coffeemaker and microwave oven. But as more employers consider sweeping office changes, the kitchen is getting a second look. Some employers want a space where they can offer more healthful food options to their employees, while others are considering its potential as a strong social space in a flexible office. Either way, as employers consider engagement efforts, they should consider the impact such spaces could have on employees.