One of the rising trends in office design that we’ve noticed is the addition of more exciting break rooms that include lounge furniture, foosball tables and… free snacks? That’s right, many companies are going above and beyond providing free coffee and water and are now offering their employees free treats on a daily basis as well. After all, the way to an employee’s heart is through his or her stomach, right? Businesses offering complimentary snacks are noticing the difference that the small gesture has made, including the following.
Employees have more energy. Food is fuel for the mind and body, but many office workers don’t keep themselves nourished throughout the day as they should. An empty stomach can lead to grogginess and discomfort that is just not good for productivity. Businesses that offer employees light snacks often notice more employees snacking throughout the day, which may lead to them having more energy, provided the right types of treats are provided.
Employees are healthier. Of course, your employees aren’t going to get a long-lasting energy boost if the only thing you offer them is chocolate chip cookies. Businesses that offer healthy snacks such as nuts and fruit are helping to prevent employees from making poor snack choices. Why pay for a donut in the morning when you know you’ll get free apples and bananas at work? Healthier food consumption generally leads to healthier people, so offering this type of snack could easily lead to fewer employee sick days and reduced medical expenses.
Employees are happier. Even if you do decide to offer cookies and candy instead of something organic, providing employees with any type of snack will help boost their morale and improve their overall mood. It’s something to look forward to, and it gives your company an edge over other prospects when hiring new people.
Employees are more collaborative. Similar to the way employees gather around the water cooler to chat throughout the day, offering snacks provides an outlet for employees to come together in the same space and say hi. Some of the best creative ideas happen on the fly, and this casual meeting of the minds could very well lead to some of the best ideas.
What snacks should you offer your employees?
Something healthy. As mentioned above, healthy snacks, like fruit and vegetables, really are the best options. Not only will they help your employees lead healthier lives in the long run, but they’ll help your business in the short term too. Offering high-protein snacks such as nuts will boost energy, make employees feel “fuller” for longer and help keep employees focused.
Something fun. Offer something different from time to time to keep things interesting. You could also implement designated days when employees bring in their own homemade snacks to share with their co-workers. Keeping it fun will help reinforce a sense of comradery.
Something everyone can enjoy. Be sure to take the dietary needs of all employees into consideration when choosing what treats to offer. Some employees may be vegans, some may have Celiac Disease and some could be allergic to peanuts. Offer a variety of snacks so that everyone has something to choose from.
Once you’ve started offering snacks to your employees, be sure to get their feedback on how it’s going to ensure that the right food is being offered. Happy snacking!