Now more than ever, employees are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This necessary shift has quickly moved many office workers to work-at-home positions, doubling or even tripling the number of Americans working at home according to The Wall Street Journal.
Although working at home may be temporary for some employees, companies are rethinking their positions on remote work. Many employers are planning to allow employees to work from home at least some of the time going forward, while a number are receptive to full-time remote jobs.
In the new work-from-home age, some companies are spending money on perks for at-home employees to keep and attract talent. For instance, Firstbase is a company that provides a package of home office supplies (e.g., ergonomic chairs, desks, microphones, laptops, and monitors), which are paid for on a monthly basis by employers for use by their at-home workers. Firstbase has reported a more than 550% jump in the number of companies on its waitlist since before March this year. The company reports that clients are opting for customized packages and that a number of them are sending each employee their own coffee machine and a coffee bean subscription.
According to Packaged Facts analyst Cara Rasch,
“Offices are expected to be smaller in the future, shrinking the traditional customer base for office coffee service providers. As more people begin permanently working from home, office coffee service providers will need to change their business models to target this market for continued sales.”
She adds, “Offering coffee subscriptions or replenishment services to employers for remote workers can maintain office coffee service sales and prevent the sales base from shrinking even as people no longer work on-location. Subscriptions are a way for employers to deliver perks to their work-at-home employees and retain top talent while enhancing productivity.”
Cara Rasch explains that the market for single-serve and personalized coffee options are particularly important to the work-at-home market.
“Single-serve options are great for remote workers since they might be at home alone or making coffee only for themselves.”
Giving employees a choice about the types of coffee they receive at home from their employers can also be important to ensuring satisfaction.
“Everyone has different tastes, and employers no longer have to offer office coffee intended to appeal to a wide audience. Subscriptions sent directly to an employee can cater to their specific tastes,” reveals Rasch.
Although targeting companies for incentive programs that distribute products to remote workers is a logical step for office coffee service providers, they can also begin offering services directly to consumers as some coffee vendors already have. According to Rasch,
“Coffee subscriptions can save consumers money over regularly buying coffee at retail. Some employers may not offer these benefits to their work-at-home employees, but consumers can sign up themselves for convenient delivery or pickup of coffee staples they use while working at home.”