The Return of the Office Cafeteria Means More Social Workplaces


The House of Communication’s cafeteria allows 1700 employees from 40 separate agencies in three different buildings to get to know each other better in one large shared space. Image © Mark Seelen

The House of Communication’s cafeteria allows 1700 employees from 40 separate agencies in three different buildings to get to know each other better in one large shared space. Image © Mark Seelen

The atmospheric sadness of a typical office ‘kitchen’ – and by kitchen I mean an old kettle, two rusty spoons (both missing) and three flimsy chairs around a one-person table – can be the root of much employee unrest. But when the alternatives mean either walking through the city smog or hunching over a desk with a Tupperware sandwich, dropping crumbs on the keyboard, there isn’t much choice.

In the post-pandemic workplace, however, where employee wellness demands respect and employers themselves are searching for ways to make their offices more appealing in a hybrid schedule, the age-old canteen format might just find its way back onto the menu. Here is a selection of projects that prove it can work, and how.

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