Food can play an important role in motivating employees to spend more time in the office, work more effectively while there and generally view their workplace more positively, finds a nationwide survey of nearly 1,100 full-time professionals across more than a dozen different industries. The survey by Seamless, the leading service for ordering delivery and takeout from restaurants in the U.S. and U.K., also reveals the importance of food as a means for building and fostering relationships with clients.
Since the average employee works more than 40 hours a week, “food remains a relatively untapped perk that companies can use to measurably improve employee retention and happiness and show their appreciation, while separating themselves from competitors. Free food all the time is unrealistic for most companies, but the occasional pizza party or afternoon treat goes a long way,” says Nick Worswick, vice president and general manager of corporate at Seamless.
Here are nine positive ways food can be used to inspire healthy eating in the workplace and foster higher productivity levels among employees.
1. Employee Satisfaction
While a majority (60%) of employees say they are satisfied with their current employment situation, 69% feel that more perks – including gym memberships (40%), stock options (22%) and food perks (20%) – would have a direct positive impact on their job satisfaction.
2. Recruiting Advantage
Nearly half of the respondents note that the availability of free lunch would strongly influence their decision to accept a job offer.
3. A Pat on the Back
Sixty percent report that having more food at the office would make them feel more valued and appreciated by their employer.
4. Team Building
More than 60% of respondents agree that company-provided lunches would encourage them to eat with their colleagues, fostering more internal collaboration.
5. Motivation and Productivity
One-third of the employees surveyed divulge that it takes food to make them show up to optional meetings – and another 20% admit to making their decision after knowing what’s on the menu.
6. Client Camaraderie
Forty-three percent of employees say sharing food or a meal with clients helps foster a better working relationship. Food also tops the list in terms of the best client gifts, with 41% noting that food is the very best option for corporate gifts.
7. Time to Spare
More than half of employees say they would spend less time away from work if food were available. Half of the respondents (51%) report spending more than 10 minutes per day picking up lunch or other food outside the office.
8. Healthy Choices
More than half of employees also say having food perks in the workplace would help them eat healthier.
9. Peace of Mind
Nearly half of respondents feel that more food perks in the workplace would make them more satisfied with their employer, in turn reducing 40% of respondents’ personal stress.