According to a survey, US workers tend to prefer eating lunch at their desks. The most popular lunch items in the workplace include pizza, sweets accompanied by a soda. The second-most-popular lunch menu involves sandwiches, either homemade or store-bought. Finally, some employees also choose to skip lunch for various reasons, involving lack of time, stress, or weight-loss purposes.
None of these options are ideal. The American workforce doesn’t value the importance of food in the workplace. Food is central to your business performance and success.
#1. You can’t work when you are hungry
Your employees may not be involved in physical activities, but sitting at a desk also requires a lot of energy. The brain is the organ that needs the most energy. Therefore, nobody should skip lunch on the basis that they’re only working at a desk. Unfortunately, still too many employees forgo their lunch breaks.
As mentioned, lack of time is one of the main issues when it comes to food. People who don’t bring a lunchbox with them are reluctant to leave the office to buy food. Yet, skipping lunch is not an optimal solution. It forces the body to enter starvation mode, which means it starts saving its energy.
As a result, employees might struggle to stay focused and think clearly. So, it can be a good idea to keep your office pantry stocked to ensure that those rushed for time can be fed, nourished, and energized. A choice of snacks and beverages can help fuel the body and the brain throughout the day, ensuring the business can maintain its productivity.
#2. The brain needs healthy food
Hunger is the enemy of health. When you are hungry, you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices. That’s precisely why last-minute food decisions can be so dangerous. Donuts, French fries, and white bread are the go-to options for hungry employees.
However, while it could curb their hunger, it is harmful to the brain. Indeed, fried and fatty food damages the blood vessels by causing inflammation. As a result, it can affect the brain’s irrigation, making it hard to keep it oxygenated. Sugar also has a similar impact, leading to inflammation.
Additionally, the sugar rush comes at a high cost. The rush of energy is short-lived, and when the sugar level drops again, your body and brain feel sluggish. Refined carbs, such as white bread, also temporarily spike blood sugar before leading to a crash.
Instead, the brain needs food that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. The typical desk snack can reduce productivity.
#3. Food needs appropriate storage
More and more businesses reach out to catering services to create an array of healthy go-to solutions for their teams. Offering a choice of sandwiches, for instance, can save valuable time to your team, ensuring they can grab something for lunch without needing to leave the office.
Yet, more often than not, sandwiches and fresh salads are delivered in the morning. If they are not stored properly, some fresh ingredients could go bad, especially during the summer when the temperature rises. If you wish to provide fresh food and/or drinks display for your staff, you need to consider cold storage solutions, such as display products from a refrigerated merchandiser.
Similarly, it is worth noting that in large offices, the kitchen needs additional fridge space. Employees who bring food to work need to be able to store it safely. When the office kitchen offers only one fridge for a large team, there’s not enough space for everyone.
#4. People get closer over a meal
A meal is the best opportunity for teams to sit together around a table and have a casual chat. Businesses appreciate the importance of teambuilding. However, they fail to provide sufficient opportunities for employees to get to know each other. Team bonding activities in the office can include the break room and the kitchen area.
Companies that introduce a fully equipped kitchen and dining area find that the teams tend to work better together. Indeed, as people eat together, they can develop trust and loyalty toward each other. The cooperation within the team improves naturally as a result.
Additionally, eating together also helps to build friendship in the workplace. According to many studies, working with friends can boost employees’ morale and reduce stress levels.
#5. It’s an essential break
You can’t compromise on break time. Nobody can be productive for 8 continual hours at their desk. The mind needs frequent breaks to recharge and maintain its focus. Using lunch as a break time ensures that employees can walk away from the desk and do something else for a brief moment.
It encourages people to take more breaks during the day. According to productivity experts, we should schedule breaks at least every 2 hours away from the screen. Contrary to common belief, frequent breaks do not affect productivity. They enhance it as they reduce stress levels.
#6. The opportunity to encourage a healthy diet
The American diet is not a healthy nutritional diet. Nutrition experts agree that the typical American diet has too many calories. Indeed, our diets have grown by over 300 calories in the last 25 years, leading to a weight increase of approximately 31 pounds per individual.
Obesity is a real issue in the American workplace. Unfortunately, the lack of healthy food portions for lunch and snacks can lead to many problems for employees. Obesity is not only a case of aesthetics. Obesity and weight gain in the office aggravate health risks for individuals who sit for several hours at their desks every day. Cardiovascular risks are a frequent occurrence in the workplace.
Yet, businesses have the opportunity to reverse the phenomenon by offering nutritionist-approved lunch options on-site. This can help make people more aware of healthy portion sizes and hidden calories in their diet.
#7. It encourages loyalty
It can seem like a silly thing to say, but everyone loves a good meal. A business that brings food to the office can find it easier to retain staff. Whether you opt for a canteen with a changing menu or for fresh lunchboxes delivery, it’s up to you. Employees see food as a perk, so they tend to stay with the company for longer. It can reduce the risk of high turnover rates and keep recruitment costs down in the long term.
#8. It can lift the team’s morale
Food can be linked to your mental health. While food does not eliminate depression or anxiety disorders, it can be a mood-boosting element in the business. Indeed, according to researchers, food can play a role in our emotions. Quinoa, for instance, can have an anti-depressant effect, which makes it a great pick-me-up in the middle of the day.
Paired with salmon and mushroom, it can be the ideal meal to combat the midweek slump! Dark chocolate snacks can encourage the release of endorphin, the feel-good hormone. Yogurt, on the other hand, has a soothing effect, helping to reduce anger and aggression.
#9. Everyone’s equal around the dining table
The American workplace suffers from a top to bottom hierarchy structure, where managers often sit above the rest of the team. This hierarchy can increase the risk of a hostile workplace. However, a canteen area where everyone can sit around the same table can help redress the balance, building trust between highly ranked managers and employees.
#10. It is a reminder of a healthy work/life balance
Work is important in the office. But productivity and creativity can only exist in an environment where employees build a healthy work/life balance. Therefore, companies that encourage lunch breaks make it easier for employees to build room for day-to-day life aside from their careers. It creates a positive habit of combining individual needs and business objectives.
Bringing good food habits to the office can completely transform the team’s productivity and creativity, improve collaborative processes, and boost the team’s morale. It’s time to build your food agenda.