Us humans are pretty simple when it comes right down to it. Feed us well, and we'll be set up to do amazing things. It's nurturing ourselves and each other at this fundamental level that keeps us feeling alive — even when menial work tasks can start to feel a little soul-sucking (yes, we've all been there!).
With an ever-greater focus being placed on workers' overall health and happiness, companies are starting to catch on to this principle by offering their employees health and wellness plans. But it doesn't even need to be that complex — the first step is to start in the kitchen.
Here are five reasons why having healthy snacks available in the workplace can be incredibly beneficial for every employee and the company as a whole. A way to an employee's heart is through their stomach, after all.
01. It attracts top talent
Gone are the days of an office kitchen equipped with nothing more than a watercooler, vending machine, and an unreliable coffeemaker. Employees expect much more nowadays, especially when they're spending around one-third of their lives at the office. In fact, a fully stocked kitchen of high-quality goods is immediately attractive to prospective hires. According to Emil Shour from SnackNation,
"More and more companies have realized that providing snacks in the office isn't just a 'nice to have.' It's practically required if you want to retain top talent."
02. It brings people together
Once you've got top talent, you better hope they all get along. The best way to break the ice: food.
Since the beginning of time, the ritual of eating has not only been about physical survival but also about cultivating deep familial and cultural connections. In the office, an inviting, well-stocked kitchen will organically bring people together to talk shop, swap ideas, and collaborate in a more relaxed environment.
"It's also a phenomenal connector. People meet up in break rooms to eat together, share ideas, and collaborate. That was the catalyst behind Google designing their HQ so that nobody is more than 200 feet away from food," says Shour.
03. It shows appreciation
Yes, it's that simple. As Shour explains,
"I think having snacks at your office does a couple of very important things. First, it sends a message to your team that you care about them and that you appreciate their hard work."
Going the extra mile in choosing high-quality snacks shows that you actually care about the employees' health and well-being too. It's one of the easiest things an employer can do to show they appreciate everyone's hard work.
04. It leads to a more focused, productive, and happy team
"However, food is our fuel and you should focus on providing quality snacks. How can you expect your team to perform at their highest potential each day if you feed them junk? At SnackNation, our unofficial motto is 'count chemicals, not calories.' If you read the ingredients on a snack and it's filled with chemicals and preservatives, you shouldn't be buying it for your team," says Shour. "It definitely has an outsized effect on morale: according to a survey published in USA Today, 67% of full-time employees with access to free food are 'extremely' or 'very' happy at their current job. 67%!"
05. It encourages necessary breaks
There are endless studies and articles out there demanding us all to get up and take more breaks throughout the day for our overall health and sanity. And when there's an office kitchen beckoning to you with fresh, nourishing snacks, it's a little easier to break away from that project.