When it comes to the workplace there really is such a thing as a free lunch, as more and more organisations wise up to the benefits of feeding their staff. Initiatives like this are in place at big, innovative campuses like Google and Apple, not just because they display a prominent commitment to wellness but because providing lunch for your employees has some very tangible benefits for the business too.
Why provide lunch for your employees?
Many companies are put off providing lunch for employees due to the financial burden of doing so. However, that investment could potentially yield some impressive results for the business in the long term.
- There is the potential to save money. One survey found that employees eating lunch on site took 30 minutes while those going off site were away for an hour. So, offering your workforce the chance to eat on site could allow for more time planning their afternoon’s activities
- Productivity levels rise. When employees eat lunch together, they chat and those conversations can be a source of creativity or productivity for the rest of the day – and into the week beyond. In fact, one survey found that employees that were given the opportunity to engage in these kinds of conversations were frequently more productive and energetic when they returned to their desks.
- Improving communication across the workplace. Providing lunch for your employees creates opportunities for people to form social bonds and build up trust with one another. These are the foundations of better communication at work, something that can have a big impact on how well your workplace functions. For example, one survey relating to writing code found that this takes 32% longer when there is no proper communication between team members. Food – and eating together – is one of the simplest ways to bring barriers down between people and create opportunities for bonds to form that will make teams more effective.
- The impact of sharing physical space. Research as far back as the 1940s showed that physical proximity is the key to creating flourishing relationships – and these are the foundation of a positive and productive working environment. “Brief and passive contacts” are more than enough to create the foundation for productive and satisfying relationships to be created – regularly sharing lunch together is a key tool to make this happen.
- Collaboration and innovation. Pixar is widely renowned as one of the most innovative businesses on the planet and, according to established perceptions at the time, one of the most radical moves the business ever made was to introduce a lunch policy. Under this policy, employees at Pixar eat lunch together every day, provided by the company. To this day, the Pixar workforce remains a shining light for collaborating and creativity in the business community.circl
Providing lunch for your employees seems, at first glance, like an unnecessary additional expense. However, from driving collaboration and productivity to improving communication in the office, there are many obvious benefits to making this investment. If you would like advice or ideas on how this could work for you take a look here or contact us.