Making sense(s) of the workplace: Taste

There’s nothing quite like the comfort of your mom’s home-cooked meals. Whether it brings back fond or not-so-great memories, the taste has a way of transporting us back in time. Yet, surprisingly, when it comes to office design, we rarely consider taste.

Does that mean we should dismiss it and move on? Not at all! Taste significantly influences our life experiences. We use it to mark special occasions, from birthdays to weddings, bringing people together in celebration. So, why not apply this concept to workplace design? Let’s explore that possibility.

Kellogg's ZA

Evolving expectations

There was a time when coffee served a purely functional purpose. Scoop it out of a glass jar, mix it with hot water, and that was it. However, times have changed, and now our coffee expectations have evolved, and we’re not hesitant to express them!

Today, employees view work as an integral part of their life story – a ‘lived experience.’ It’s more than just a desk job to pay the bills; work is now intertwined with their identity. In this context, even coffee becomes a significant aspect. Can the workplace cater to this modern need and provide coffee that rivals, or perhaps exceeds, the quality you’d find at home?

Diverse preferences

Preferences in tastes vary widely among individuals! So, it’s important to introduce options that cater to the diverse palate of your team.

Food, community, & wellbeing

Given that food and drink are essential for human survival, it’s no surprise that they play a crucial role in fostering a happy, healthy, and flourishing workforce. Keeping this in mind is vital for cultivating a productive team.

We want to transform your workplace into a destination that employees eagerly anticipate. Taste provides an opportunity to offer something distinct from the home environment, such as the delight of an exceptional cup of coffee.

At Dr Oetker HQ, they celebrate their brand identity with a pizza tradition every Friday. This tasty gathering not only brings people to the office but also fosters a sense of togetherness in a world where remote work is increasingly prevalent and accepted.

Tasteful placements

It’s not just a matter of acquiring the latest coffee machine and crossing your fingers for success. Instead, the focus is on seamlessly incorporating food and drink elements into your workplace, allowing employees to savour the experience without it becoming a distraction or complication in their workday.

Consider how your new coffee machine can foster connections among employees. How can it become an integral part of their daily work routine? Often, it requires stepping back and examining your entire floor plan. For instance, placing the social space – whether it’s a breakout area or an informal coffee spot – at the centre of the floor plan can encourage interaction, drawing people from different levels. On other floors, you might choose not to have food stations, as they could potentially disconnect people and create friction.

Fact: Did you know that flavour results from the harmonious blend of taste and smell? Consider the scents in your workplace as well, ensuring that these two senses complement each other to create a vibrant and thriving environment.

Enhancing your workplace taste experience

Branded mugs have long been a staple in corporate settings, providing a quick and cost-effective means of integrating your brand into employees’ daily routines. While the focus is often on the visual appeal of the cup, what if we expanded our perspective to consider branded mugs, cups, and tableware as integral components of the taste experience?

Enjoying a fine wine, craft beer, or a shot of espresso is enhanced by the choice of cup or glass, adding an extra layer to the overall experience. Before placing your order for branded mugs, reflect on how they align with the food and drink experiences you provide in your workplace.

Thoughtful taste transformations

A few thoughtful enhancements can turn the mundane office routine into a remarkable workplace experience, leaving your staff happier, more motivated, and even excited – especially for events like ‘Pizza Friday.’

Here are our top 5 taste-related considerations:

  1. Upgrade from instant coffee to barista-style options.
  2. Provide variety to cater to diverse preferences.
  3. Acknowledge the impact of scents on taste.
  4. Design floor plans with communal food and drink areas in mind.
  5. Enhance the workplace experience with branded mugs.

Learn more about designing for the senses.

Want to know more about workplace design? Visit our website here.

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