In the present era, companies and their employees are constantly exploring a more contemporary working atmosphere. As a result, they are on a constant lookout for a clear, well-reasoned, and comprehensible culture. According to Mercer's Global Talent Trends 2022 report, employees today anticipate their bosses to be equal participants in their more comprehensive personal needs, in addition to a paycheck. Indeed, according to a Workhuman survey conducted in the fall of 2021, 66% of employees wait to evaluate their firm's new benefit offerings before actually deciding whether to stick with their jobs or move on.
According to the data cited above, providing a competitive reward system can greatly enhance a company's success in both attracting and retaining top talent. Benefits such as mental health counselling, an office gaming zone, yoga classes, an unlimited leave policy, and so on are some of the low-cost perks employees tend to eye in an organisation.
In the midst of all of this, ‘corporate dining’ has recently received a lot of attention. After all, who doesn't appreciate a meal that has already been paid for? It may appear to be a minor detail, but today's employers should not underestimate the advantages of sponsored meals at work. Free food is more than just an incredible perk: it helps to establish a strong lunch tradition that encourages teamwork and creativity at work. In addition, it demonstrates that the company cares about its employees and that their everyday endeavours and contributions are honestly held in high esteem.
Let's take a quick look at some of the subtle advantages of free food at work for your company and its employees:
A perfect employee retention magnet
One cannot overlook food’s role as a unifier. Apart from sending the message that the company genuinely cares about its employees, it also serves as a recruiting and retention tool. When there is free food at 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 conveys that you care about their health, and foster a community spirit. These benefits can impact how employees perceive their worth as individuals in your organisation. Moreover, there is a reason why companies that regularly feature on "Best Places to Work" lists are also the ones who are most liberal with office food availability.
Sharing a meal is caring
Employee engagement, such as shared meals, helps foster a collaborative atmosphere. Breaking bread together can lighten up the workday and nourish corporate culture. Cornell University researchers discovered that teammates who ate together had nearly twice as much collaborative behaviour as those who did not. Food is not just about a perk; it goes a long way in bringing out unparalleled teamwork. Eating together is also one of the quickest methods for any cohort to form powerful social bonds, enabling them to communicate with people outside their groups and departments.
A natural productivity booster
As lunchtime approaches, employees tend to concentrate less on their duties to satisfy their appetite first. All of these minor concerns add up and substantially reduce productivity. As a company, you are doing more than just tackling employees' hunger (and the resulting bad mood) by keeping them assured of good food. In essence, you are getting rid of a significant source of interruption in the workflow.
Lastly, having food at work does not have to be a costly outlay. It’s less about extravagance and more about utility. In the long run, food has tremendous advantages for your office culture, employee morale, and overall productivity. Furthermore, a sponsored meal may make its way onto social media and contribute to a more endearing corporate image – leading to lower attrition and better hiring. And, perhaps most importantly, you won't have to deal with grumpy, irritable hungry employees!