Christmas isn’t the only time of the year for self-indulgence. From hot cross buns to chocolate, well, everything, the Easter bank holiday was also the time to indulge in treats.
Perhaps the four-day weekend has put an extra spring in your step and you decided to share the joy by bringing in some Easter goodies for your colleagues. But do you only do this on national holidays? If so, you could be missing out on a key way to boost employee happiness throughout the year.
According to research by ZeroCater, the overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents view office snacks as important, and more than three quarters (78%) feel the same about office meals.
Perhaps unsurprising, then, that office food was ranked one of the top three company perks, alongside holiday and professional development, cited by 38% of employees.
But providing staff with meals doesn’t just increase employee happiness. Employers responding to the survey also noted the following benefits:
● Better working relationships – 90% said meals with employees helped create stronger relationships between colleagues
● Enhanced productivity – 88% found providing food saves employees time as they don’t need to leave to find lunch
● Key part of onboarding process – 79% view company meals as a vital way to introduce new employees to their colleagues
● Helps employee retention – 67% include meals in their retention strategy
So, what do employees want from their office food?
Research discussed by Business Matters found that weight gain is one of the most common downsides to working in an office, with the average British worker gaining 9lbs a year.
While it’s fine to indulge every now and then — no one is going to choose a carrot over chocolate at Easter! — it seems staff are placing a greater importance on their health. Nearly two thirds (65%) view healthy snacks as very or extremely important and, perhaps surprisingly, over half (53%) said office snacks help them stay healthy.
Cater to everyone
There’s a good chance that your office could include staff who are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, or have specific food allergies. With 55% saying they find it very or extremely important their company meals cater to their preferences, make sure you provide options for those with specific dietary requirements.
Mix it up
Whether you stock up the shelves with snacks or provide your staff with meals, be sure to change the mix from time to time. When evaluating office snacks, variety (56%) and full shelves (47%) were seen as being very important.