Covid-19 has forced us to make significant changes to our day to day lives and evaluate what else must be done moving forward to keep us safe. Our latest article explores just how the world is set to change and how the Micro Market could be a fantastic – and reassuring – solution to provide your staff with quality refreshments at work.
It wasn’t that long ago that words and phrases such as social distancing and self-isolation were barely a dot in our vocabulary. Now, many Covid-related phrases have indeed made the Oxford dictionary.
The reality of today is that we’re all very much aware of the threat posed by Coronavirus. And whilst we have already made lots of changes to our daily operations, you may want to be prepared for further implications and possibilities.
What is your workplace refreshment solution?
Think about your workplace for a moment, and in particular your refreshment services. On-site refreshment facilities are a simple employee perk, but how are your team enjoying their teas, coffees and food?
You may not yet have understood the true value in these kinds of facilities, and so forth your team may be bringing things from home or heading off site to the high street or corner shop. Meanwhile, a lot of larger businesses may have an on-site canteen or utilise the services of a third-party catering company.
However your staff access their fuel, the solution probably won’t be watertight for a post-Covid world, when safety and hygiene must take clear priority.
The damning realities of retail.
It was only a few months ago that a report from Business Reporter examined the future of retail, including supermarkets, coffee shops and convenience stores. With the high volume of people this industry previously attracted every single day, social distancing was rarely an easy ask. Hence why many non-essential companies were required to temporarily shut down.
And whilst the industry recorded slight growth each time restrictions eased, it’s obvious that won’t be easy to recapture previous levels of popularity moving forward. There’s simply too much worry in people’s minds.
Business Insider predicted that the Micro Market could be the long-term answer, and indeed the future of retail.
The Micro Market houses a variety of refreshments in your own workplace convenience store. It has your entire working day covered with fresh food including sandwiches, salads, wraps and rolls, snacks, cold drinks and high-quality tea and coffee from your own coffee machine. All captured in an open-plan design that’s unattended and available 24 hours a day.
This means there is no reason to head off site into the scary unknown during your break, where products have been touched by a greater number of people. Even if your business operates unusual shift patterns.
Furthermore, the advanced nature of the Micro Market means that it is built on constant developments well served for the future. Product scope is a key area where the Micro Market can conform to demand. Just like your local corner shop, it can stock more niche products such as bread, milk, cordial and other items you can purchase for your home – straight from your workplace.
The Micro Market can deliver almost whatever you want it to from the same safe location, a reassuring attribute that is more important now than ever before.
As a final point in the battle against the tried and no longer trusted retail industry, the Micro Market also takes advantage of technological advancements that its foundations are largely built on.
Even prior to the pandemic, technology behind the scenes made the Micro Market a solution you could always rely on, at least through Express Refreshments. Boasting the longest history in UK Micro Markets, every market is built on real time software that analyses product popularity and product availability, with a dedicated team regularly replenishing to suit.
This means you can always have your favourites at hand, something you can’t always say when you head into town. Meanwhile, payment is made through a safe and secure cashless terminal, meaning you aren’t required to come into contact with the germs that lie hidden on coins and notes.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) along with national governments stressed the importance of contact-free payments when the pandemic hit, stating contactless card and mobile payment systems are the safest way to pay.
This form of transactional payment may continue in the COVID-recovery effort and make lasting change on how we pay for products.
Wiping out the traditional workplace canteen and contract catering.
So that’s the retail industry largely taken care of, but what about the traditional workplace canteen?
This solution has always been the “go-to” option for larger businesses. An alternative solution to provide a high number of staff with quality refreshments was often unheard of.
But unheard of it is no more.
Micro Markets deliver one key similarity in having a high volume of products available in your workplace. That’s where the similarities end, however, and with Micro Markets growing 350% since 2017, it’s clear more businesses are understanding there is an alternative solution that carries far more benefits.
Unlike a canteen, you don’t need anybody to man your Micro Market. With the added peace of mind of CCTV, your market runs on the trust of your employees, along with the fact it is not available to the general public.
This means one less person on the payroll and one less person for colleagues to come into contact with, something that also can’t be said for contract catering teams.
And as we touched on above, the unmanned nature of the Micro Market means it is open and available around the clock seven days a week, which makes it the perfect solution if your team operate lengthy shifts or night shifts.
After all, being denied access to food and caffeine can be all it takes for productivity to dip. The Micro Market is the only solution that can provide on-site refreshments all the time.
Looking further into the future micro-markets are likely to play a greater role to provide refreshments to employees, if traditional canteen facilities are forced to remain closed or appetite to return to these is low. Micro Markets can therefore be a great catering alternative, to provide a mix of smart catering systems and traditional vending.
As we get more accustomed to flexible ways of working, it is also likely that core office hours and designated breaks will be a thing of the past, to enable employees to maintain the autonomy they have got used to while working remotely.
With this in mind, it is important to implement workplace catering solutions which can keep up and a Micro Market is an accessible and progressive option for workplaces of the future.
Through cashless, contactless and product scope, the Micro Market provides a huge step in driving the change that the modern employee wants – and needs.