We’re already a few days into 2017, and we’ve heard all about new year’s resolutions ranging from the usual suspects like learning a new hobby, maintaining a better work life balance or the health resolutions that top everyone’s list. While adopting a healthier lifestyle might seem unattainable at times, one of the best places to tackle this resolution is surprisingly, the office.
The office can make a huge difference in how you can make your employees healthier and happier. In fact, a study conducted by Duke University professor Dan Ariely found most employees are more likely to show increased motivation and productivity in the workplace, by more than 6 percent, when offered free pizza. The perk of free food in the workplace even beats out the projected winner — money.
Free food is meaningful and fulfilling and will provide you with a healthier, happier and more collaborative workplace. Here are five reasons why you should consider giving your employees free food this year and some of the benefits you might see throughout your organization.
Well-fed teams = focused
By feeding your employees on the job, you are helping to keep them more focused on what they have come to work to do. Rather than having your team race to beat the lunch crowd, wait in long lines and rush back to the office all before their next meeting, you are eliminating unwanted stress and yet another deadline to meet. With great food comes ever greater focus. So why not help your employees stay focused at work and win back some productivity, too? After all, focus is at the core of producing good work.
Food fuels brain power
It is a tried-and-true theory we see all too often: Nothing kills focus faster than a grumbling stomach.
If your employees are constantly reaching for stale pretzels or staring into the disappointing office pantry, you can say goodbye to productivity. By bringing quality meals and snacks straight to your employees’ desks, you are guaranteeing optimal focus. In fact, a paper from the British Journal of Health Psychology examined the extent to which food impacts our day-to-day work experience: the more fruits and vegetables people consumed, the happier, more engaged and creatives teams would be.
Happier employees & better workers
It is a no-brainer. Providing employees with better food makes them happy, and happy employees work better. Even more, giving your employees free food says a lot more than money does — it shows you care about them as individuals and not just as employees.
In fact, a survey by Peapod revealed companies that provide free food have happier employees compared with those who don’t. Studies showed that while 56 percent of full-time employees are satisfied with their current job, the number jumps to a whopping 67 percent among employees who receive free food at work. By making sure your employees are well-fed, you are making sure they know their well-being comes first. With that in mind, employees will feel more satisfied both in the office and out, and in turn have a better attitude about coming into their workplace every day.
Get your teams innovating
As departments grow, they often grow apart and thus are born office “cliques.” As an employer, seeing the accounting team at one table and marketing at another is an indication that something has to be done to change the dynamics of your workplace. Food in the office can help bridge these teams and make sure there is collaboration in the office. Why else would Google endorse the practice so heavily? Furthermore, a study conducted at Cornell University found that colleagues who eat lunch together are more effective collaborators and are more likely to build friendships and networks in the workplace.
By providing each team with one thing in common, you are opening a window of opportunity to spark conversations among employees who don’t generally work closely together. So give your employees something to talk about with a custom, quality meal. It’s well-deserved, and the result is a more open line of communication across all teams. In just one hour a day, collaboration is here to stay.
What better way to be invested in your employees’ well-being than to keep those employees healthy? If you want the workers you are paying to work to actually be at work, make sure they take care of themselves by providing them the right tools to do so, such as good-for-you food. This has especially been a big trend among millennials, according to a survey by Jobvite — 35 percent would rather have free meal or snack perks than medical or dental insurance or a 401K! With these growing workplace trends quickly becoming the norm, employers need to consider how they adapt to the needs of its company’s culture.
With well-fed teams comes a well-oiled machine, so consider offering your employees free food in the office this year. Employers will receive a gift that keeps on giving and also see the dynamics of their company culture change for the better. So, celebrate what powers teams and how free food in the office can drive your business!