Baking bread is frowned upon in many workplaces as it can interfere with normal working practices (such as completing work).
However, due to the Equality Act 2010 you must now respect your employees’ sense of individual individuality.
As such, you can’t just remonstrate a staff member for suddenly beating out some dough instead of completing a spreadsheet.
Here’s our guide to overcoming this foodstuff workplace hurdle.
Preface: Caveat for Bread Makers
A caveat your business will need to consider right away is if you’re a baker.
If you run a bread shop, you’ll inevitably need to bake bread at work. Otherwise you’ll go bankrupt.
As such, you can ignore the advice below and continue baking bread as if your life depends upon it. As it kind of does.
Business Rules for Baking Bread at Work
It’s increasingly common for employees to bake bread at work in order to avoid the increasingly expensive world of workplace sandwiches.
We quizzed Constanze, a web designer for a digital agency in Hartlepool, about her sandwich-based expenditure. And she told us:
“It was disgraceful! I go out to buy a cheese and onion sandwich for my thirty minute lunch break and it costs for a fiver! I am appalled at such an appalling extravagance! I tried just bringing a block of cheese and a raw onion into work and just eating those, but my colleagues complained about how gross a sight it was.
So I started bringing flour in and baking up a loaf during my lunch break. I make and knead the dough when I arrive in the morning, then bake it an hour before lunch! It works a treat and is really cheap!
I had to buy a portable oven, of course, and bring that with me to work every day. Asides from the odd looks I get on the bus, it’s no real bother. Although my boss has been pretty annoyed about it and started a petition for whether or not to ban the oven.
Thankfully, 80% of my colleagues voted in favour of ovens at work! And now most of us bring an oven in with us and bake up bread during the day. We get a wonderful sense of comradery, although my boss complains bitterly about our drop in productivity. I think he’s just bitter because he lost the petition.”
Constanze’s story was enough to inspire professionals across the nation to follow suit, leading to the government’s Baking Bread at Work Act 2020.
In the Act, official regulations indicate:
“Your employees may bake bread in the workplace if it is their desire to do so. However, you’re under no obligations to hire a baker to complete the baking for them.
You should ensure your staff members complete the baking outside of working hours or during lunch breaks.
If anyone starts choking to death on the bread they have made during a working day, you should also phone for an ambulance.”
We spoke to Constanze’s boss, Derek, on his verdict about the Act and his employees’ lunch-based baking. He said:
It’s fucking ridiculous! I’m trying to run a business here and I’m constantly stepping over bags of flour, ovens, and crusts! I bring clients to the office and they wonder what’s going on! I have to pretend we have a new client who’s a baker that sends us lots of free flour. Other days I just say I have really bad dandruff. But this charade won’t last forever!”
Issues aside, you’ll need to take ownership of your employees’ daily baking antics.
As such, it’s wise to create a policy that’ll provide clarity on the suitable in-work baking practices you expect.
Your Business’s Bread Baking Policy
As it’s legal under the Baking Bread at Work Act 2020, you should make it clear what types of bread you allow in your workplace.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we can recommend:
- Banana bread
- Small bread
- Rye bread
- Brown bread
- Wheat bread
- Pitta bread
- Portuguese sweet bread
- Pain de mie
- English muffins
Do note, as white bread is the work of Satan, you should not allow this form of foodstuff in your working environment.
Should any employees complain about such a state of affairs, shoot them dead (with a gun).
The Baking Bread at Work Act 2020 explains:
“White bread is for idiots who are stupid poopy pants. If anyone contests this, you my gun them down with a weapon of your choice.”
There you go, a provision straight from parliament about eating habits in your working environment. Embrace it. Or die!