Though it is largely out of your control what your employees choose to eat, there are certain steps you can take to help encourage better eating habits at work. This in turn should help your staff feel happier, healthier and more productive.
You might think it’s none of your concern what your employees choose to put into their bodies, but unhealthy, unfit staff can be a long-term drain on your business. Eating too much sugar and junk food throughout the day can lead to afternoon slumps, where employees feel tired and as a result, less productive.
It might sound cliché, but those who choose to eat unhealthy and fast food will often be hungrier throughout the day. This can be extremely distracting, and could also lead to frequent breaks to get more food in a bid to stop their hunger pangs. Again, this may seem harmless for one day, but over time these small breaks add up and you could find yourself losing out on hours of work from these particular employees.
Eating lunch at their desks, or grabbing something quick to eat as they work through lunch, can also have a negative impact on staff. Firstly because they’re sitting down all day with little exercise. Secondly, because eating fast food and snacks can lead to staff becoming lethargic in the afternoon.
As it’s previously been stated this is a difficult issue to control and if workers want to eat junk – they will! But there are some simple steps you can take to promote a healthy workplace.
Be sure to create a culture where staff don’t feel like they should work through their lunch break. Instead encourage staff to get out, get some fresh air and go for a walk. This is particularly true for office jobs where staff may be doing little physical activity throughout the day. Getting some fresh air and taking a good break will leave them feeling much more energetic and productive in the afternoon.
You can also incorporate healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle into your workplace perks. If you offer free refreshments to your staff, be sure to make these healthy options like fruit, cereal or nuts. Similarly, offer healthy drinks options so they aren’t always reaching for the fizzy drinks.
Another great perk is cycle to work schemes and discounted (or even free!) gym memberships through the company. This might not prevent your workers from reaching for those afternoon snacks, but it could help to keep employees fit, alert and much more productive.
In conclusion, you can’t force your staff to put down the snacks, but you can encourage healthier habits at work and a culture where taking a break is important. Unhealthy staff are going to have a negative impact on your business, so it is in your best interests to try and promote a healthier working environment.