Are there benefits to providing workplace meals?
You do not need a Masters Degree in nutrition to understand that the foods we consume are going to have a direct impact on a person’s ability to function at their best.
In any modern society a person’s mood, alertness, brain function and physical health could be the difference between achieving and then maintaining peak performance, and therefore directly contributing to the success of, an individual, a work force and large organisations.
While unhealthy foods contribute to ill health and a reduction in job performance, healthy alternatives and a balanced diet can significantly improve workplace productivity. Research has shown that inadequate nourishment can reduce employee’s efficiency by 20% and that poor nutrition is directly linked to absenteeism, sickness, low morale and higher rates of workplace accidents. Paying people who are not at work is costly and absences may also have an impact on customer service, product quality and the workload and stress of other employees.
Maintaining a healthy diet is also essential for a good night’s sleep, which contributes to increases in energy, improved mood and mental well-being, three key factors to success in any occupation and at any level. People who practice a balanced diet just feel better about themselves, they maintain healthy body weight, they have less sickness, they have a positive and optimistic outlook, and by getting a good night sleep they are always ready for the next challenge!
A recent survey of 100 employees and office managers discovered the following;
75% of employees polled said they were happy at work, incidentally 74% of those polled have access to free meals and snacks.
With recruitment and retention being as competitive as ever, 79% of employers polled said shared meals are imperative to welcoming new staff members and bonding them with their new colleagues, while 67% said that staff dining is a key retention tool which contributes to lower staff turnover.
There are many caterers that specialise in natural, healthy options for businesses, so the opportunity to collectively improve the output of your workforce has never been easier, and combining the nutritional benefits with the social factor of shared positive experiences, healthy work place meals are possibly the most practical team bonding program that an employer or organisation could possibly implement.