Everyone loves the word “free,” especially when it comes to food. So what better incentive than to offer employees free food at work? It’s an added benefit that has the power to attract and retain talent without having to pay higher salaries.
A recent survey conducted by an online delivery and takeout service concluded that 60% of participants would feel more valued and appreciated if food was provided at the office. Additionally, more than half said that free lunch would significantly contribute to whether or not they accepted a job.
What do these findings mean? It means it doesn’t take as much as you may think to motivate employees and stimulate their interest. Food is a perk everyone can get on board with for many reasons. Read on for three benefits that come from giving employees access to free food and drinks.
- Food Offerings Foster a Sense of Community
Meals bring people together — it’s just a fact. However, if employees have to go off-site for lunches, they are less prone to spend time with one another. If meals are provided to employees, they are more likely to eat together. This builds camaraderie and fosters deeper work relationships as well as helps them form a better sense of community. This will promote a stronger sense of purpose as well for those who may not feel like they fit in.
Lunch with coworkers can boost productivity levels, networking and happiness — all ingredients for a happy employee.
- Employees May Become Healthier
Providing free food and beverages to employees at work can potentially help them to live a healthier lifestyle. Switch out sodas for vitamin-based beverages, so employees will become more likely to choosing the healthier drink option than the one full of sugar and chemicals. If employees complain about plain water, stock up on coconut water so they can reap the benefits. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals and also promotes a healthy waistline.
The same for company-provided meals. If these meals are geared toward healthy eating, this can heavily impact employees in an extremely positive way. If employees need to dash out to grab lunch, they may choose unhealthy options because they’re in a hurry to get back to the office. Healthy employees are a win-win. They lower healthcare costs and keep the focus on work.
- Help Employees to Take a Healthy Break
Keep employees productive with food perks and give them the healthy breaks they need but may not seek out on their own.
Many employees find it challenging to step away from their work and actually take a break during the day. They become so immersed in what they’re doing that eating might be viewed as an inconvenience. Going off-site can become an ordeal, especially if an office is located in a more desolate part of town or in a busy city where parking is hard to come by, and traffic is inevitable.
If employees have easy access to food in the office, they’re more likely to take breaks that refresh their minds and bodies. In fact, studies show a 49% increase in productivity for employees with a meal plan. Their focus can continue on their work, not food, which will lead to more productivity. Get more work time from employees, without having to pay a higher salary or overtime.
Providing the comforts of home in the office is undoubtedly effective — and cost-effective — as it motivates employees to invest more time and energy into their work. Get better employee retention and become more competitive in your market by offering free food and beverages to your employees.
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