The Lunch Card in the Times of Coronavirus and Working from Home

Working from home has become exceedingly popular since the coronavirus. According to a study conducted with companies world-wide by Garner, a research and advisory company, 90% of HR Directors plan to continue work from home after the Covid-19 pandemic, at least partially. Flexible work models and working off-site will endure.

On the one hand, there are benefits to this, such as balancing free time and work time. On the other, collegiality will suffer, as well as the importance of breaks and lunches. When we work from home, we can forget to get up and move and don’t necessarily take the time to relax and eat a balanced meal. This can affect concentration and cause the dreaded midafternoon slump.

Before the pandemic, company cafeterias were in charge of refuelling staff with varied meals. This is no longer the case, because cafeterias are now limited in what they can offer and fewer employees eat on site.

Employees working from home take care of their own meals, for which they have many options. The Swibeco Lunch Card is not only accepted at wide variety of cafés, restaurants, bakeries, fast-foods and take-outs, it is also accepted for delivery. The Lunch Card is also perfect for making your own meals, as it is accepted at all grocery shops and food outlets in Switzerland.

Lunch Breaks in Endless Combinations

Managing your own company cafeteria is expensive and requires staff. Although large companies have long had on-site restaurants, the cost can be prohibitive for small ones. In a time of crisis like the pandemic, it can be very difficult to keep a cafeteria open.

That said, there is an all-in-one solution for your employees working from home: the Swibeco Lunch Card. While some companies have had to switch to refrigerated vending machines and self-service due to lack of staff, or have closed all locations but their headquarters, others have chosen more practical solutions. Whether it’s the corner pizzeria, the new Vietnamese restaurant or a burger to go, staff can use their Lunch Card to pay for their midday meal at a variety of establishments near the company for a healthy and varied lunch.

Whether they work on-site or at home, employees can enjoy a wide variety of options (organic, vegan or vegetarian, depending on preferences). As for companies, they save money on overhead (rent, electricity, water) and personnel costs, which can be very high. The Swibeco Lunch Card is a win-win for everyone.

The Largest Acceptance Network in Switzerland

The Swibeco Lunch Card is accepted everywhere: restaurants, bakeries, snack bars, grocery shops, even for delivery. More than 35,000 food sales points throughout Switzerland are affiliated with the Swibeco Lunch Card network, giving employees the widest variety of meal options available in the easiest way possible. The Swibeco Lunch Card can also be added to Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, so employees do not have to carry the card with them.

More Flexibility and More Purchasing Power

The Swibeco Lunch Card is designed for all types of employers. It provides increased flexibility by digitising social contributions to finance meal cards. Meal costs can be 100% employer financed, shared with the employee, or paid completely by the employee. In all cases, your staff has more purchasing power. Meal costs are exempt from social security contributions and are not a taxable part of salary, up to the Swiss legal limit of CHF 180.- per month.

If the employee recharges their own card monthly by converting gross salary, the tax break practically doubles their purchasing power compared with the same amount paid as salary.

The following options are available with the Swibeco Lunch Card:

  • Full financing by the employer up to the legal limit of CHF 180.- per month,
  • Half or partial employer contribution to meal costs. The employee can add to this amount by converting net or gross salary up to the legal limit of CHF 180.- per month,
  • Full financing by the employee up to the tax-free limit of CHF 180.- per month.

The monthly savings are undeniable whether the company contributes to Lunch Card costs or not. This money can be used to finance the Lunch Card or be redistributed directly to your employees.

Fully Digital Process

With Swibeco’s fully digital and automated system, you can introduce the Lunch Card without any additional staff. The online platform can be customised for your company. The powerful management system sends emails to employees, simulates savings and automatically creates and manages amendments to work contracts.

A Win-Win Benefit for Companies

Most Swiss companies do not plan to raise salaries in 2021, nor do they have the budget to contribute to employee meal costs. The Swibeco Lunch Card is a cost-effective option for company meals. Employees have increased purchasing power for healthy, varied meals adapted to their tastes at home or at the office, despite the uncertainty of the pandemic. But that’s not all. In addition to the potential savings, the Lunch Card has myriad benefits for both companies and employees. The Swibeco offer can give local restaurants and food outlets a boost and improve the atmosphere at work, not to mention the social benefits that can help with retention and attracting new talent.