The Importance of Paid Meals in the Workplace — People Matters

In today’s era, companies and their employees are constantly exploring a more contemporary working atmosphere. As a result, they are constantly looking for a clear, reasoned and understandable culture. According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report, employees today expect their bosses to be equal participants in their fuller personal needs, in addition to a paycheck. In fact, according to a Workhuman survey conducted in the fall of 2021, 66% of employees are waiting to evaluate new benefits offers from their company before deciding whether to keep their job or move on.

According to the data cited above, providing a competitive reward system can greatly improve a company’s success by attracting and retaining top talent. Perks like mental health counselling, office gaming zone, yoga classes, unlimited time off policy, and more. are some of the low cost perks that employees tend to look for in an organization.

In the midst of all this, “corporate meals” have recently received a lot of attention. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a meal that’s already been paid for? It may seem like a minor detail, but today’s employers shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of sponsored meals at work. Free food is more than just an amazing perk: it helps establish a strong lunchtime tradition that encourages teamwork and creativity at work. Moreover, it demonstrates that the company cares about its employees and that their daily efforts and contributions are honestly held in high regard.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the subtle benefits of free food at work for your company and its employees:

A Perfect Employee Retention Magnet

We cannot ignore the unifying role of food. Besides sending the message that the company really cares about its employees, it also serves as a recruitment and retention tool. When there is free food in the workplace, the employee has one less thing to worry about. As a result, food becomes a morale booster as well as a stress reliever. It shows that you care about their health and foster a community spirit. These benefits can impact how employees perceive their value as individuals in your organization. Plus, there’s a reason the companies that regularly appear on “Best Workplaces” lists are also the ones that are the most liberal with office food availability.

Sharing a meal is caring

Employee engagement, such as potluck, helps foster a collaborative atmosphere. Breaking bread together can lighten the working day and nurture corporate culture. Cornell University researchers found that teammates who ate together had almost twice as much collaborative behavior as those who didn’t. Food isn’t just a perk; this goes a long way in bringing out unparalleled teamwork. Eating together is also one of the fastest ways for any cohort to form powerful social bonds, allowing them to connect with people outside of their groups and departments.

A natural productivity booster

As lunchtime approaches, employees tend to focus less on their tasks to satisfy their appetites first. All of these minor concerns add up and drastically reduce productivity. As a company, you do more than just combat employee hunger (and the resulting bad mood) by providing them with good nutrition. Essentially, you get rid of a major source of interruption in the workflow.

Finally, having food at work doesn’t have to be an expensive expense. It is less about extravagance than usefulness. In the long run, food has huge benefits for your office culture, employee morale, and overall productivity. Additionally, a sponsored meal can make its way onto social media and contribute to a more attractive corporate image, leading to less attrition and better hiring. And, perhaps most importantly, you won’t have to deal with grumpy, irritable hungry employees!

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Norma A. Roth