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We are living a time in which we are increasingly talking about future working conditions in the EU institutions such as teleworking, hot-desking, open space etc. Since the start of the vaccination campaign and its continuous programme for the coming months, the possibility of a return to our office spaces is becoming a nearby reality. A comeback to our buildings, which are said to more efficient and adapted to our future work conditions.

Following news of the cancellation of the call for tenders scheduled for last year, and the precarious conditions of our canteen and cafeteria workers, there is a worrying radio silence regarding canteens and cafeterias.

Between coffee and a meal, canteens and cafeterias were in the past spaces that allowed colleagues to improve their relationships and to get to know each other better. Spaces that were already “open space “and “hot desking” long before these terms began to appear in discussions about the future workplace.

It is therefore essential to ensure the establishment of canteens and cafeterias adapted to the new situation, to respond to colleagues’ sensitivities, maybe fears but above all, to attract a return in these areas. Canteens and cafeterias were not only a very important part of the working spaces in the past, but will become increasingly important to allow moments of friendliness and union between colleagues, aspects which will become increasingly rare in the ‘new normality’ at work. 

This aspect of re-entry should not be neglected and any improvisation should be avoided. New contracts should also guarantee and take in account the rights of workers in canteens and cafeterias and the supply of quality products.

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