Does your workplace offer free food and drinks? Perhaps they have a coffee machine, a biscuit barrel, or a fruit basket you can help yourself to throughout the day.
When applying for a job role, free food and drinks is seen as a perk to your job. But what are the real benefits of free food in the work place? And are these beneficial to just the employee’s or does the employer gain from this practice too?
It keeps the employee’s energy levels high
You’ve probably heard of the 3pm slump. In fact, research suggests “Most people feel drowsy after lunch. This mid-afternoon drop in energy levels is linked to the brain’s circadian rhythm and is ‘hard wired’ into the human body.”
In an office space, when your energy levels drop, work performance is also affected. Ensuring that there are snacks available for staff, whether that’s a fruit bowl, a range of biscuits and a coffee machine, it can be the difference in those last 2 or 3 hours of the day.
Saves the employee’s money on buying coffee each morning
We all know how expensive coffee is but if it’s one of your daily habits, there is nothing better than working in an office with free coffee. Not only are you saving $4 a day, you are also getting the luxury of not having to leave the office (especially in winter) and also having the opportunity for multiple coffee hits in the day.
It gives employees an excuse to have a break and decompress
A work day is long and often taxing on the mind and body, even if you work in an office space. Experts warn us, “Constant sitting—whether at your desk, the TV, or the lecture hall—puts you at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.” Having snacks in the company kitchen can give employees an excuse to leave their desks. It gives employee’s a chance to walk, move, or stretch for 5-minutes which will improve health and well-being.
It allows a space for all employees to mingle
One of the most productive parts of having free food in a work place, is giving staff the opportunity to mingle. The aim for the employer is that their staff mingle with people that don’t necessarily work directly with each other. It builds and sustains great work relationships, breeds a social atmosphere, and encourages everyone to participate in social events. It’s amazing what a simple fruit bowl can achieve.
It keeps employees in the office longer
This may be a double negative, yet having food and drinks readily available to staff members, means they don’t need to leave the office. They are less likely to rush home for their dinner and more likely to spend time at their desks working. This may seem like a negative for employees but a lot of staff like to get their work completed early in the week. This may mean they can leave early on a Friday, take a longer lunch break, or just have a relaxed end to the week.
From whichever angle you’re coming at it from, having free food in the office is definitely a positive result in most situations.
Does your office have free food?
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