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The Importance of Healthy Office Snack Programs

6AM Health’s Fresh Fridge is the healthiest office food service in New England, and we are so sure of it! Still, we know many people–employees and managers included– are asking the big “So What?” question. Why should employers invest in a healthy office snack program? And why should employees ask for this type of amenity in their workplace?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many employers are unaware of the linkages between health and productivity. While employers understand that investing in human capital improves the company’s bottom line, they are only beginning to understand the impact health has on worker productivity. Specifically, the CDC emphasizes the following two impacts:

Indirect costs of poor health, including absenteeism, disability, or reduced work output, may be several times higher than direct medical costs.

Productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year or $225.8 billion annually.

Thus, employers may find themselves benefitting in more ways than one when they decide to invest in a healthy office snack program. In general, workplace health programs that improve employee health by reducing, preventing, or controlling diseases can positively affect worker productivity. Further, improvements in physical, mental, and emotional health enhance stamina, concentration, and focus, leading to greater work output.

Looking for more specific reasons to start considering a healthy office snack program? We can provide you the facts, and you can decide whether this might be right for you.

Food choices can impact your employees and their well-being.

Many studies point to the following ways in which food and well-being are related:

  1. Poor diet leads to increased absences. One study showed that employees with poor nutritional habits report 21% more absences related to illness plus 11% less productivity than their healthier counterparts.

  2. Diet affects brain function and focus. Research shows that food choices actually impact brain function.

  3. Lack of protein can cause the afternoon slump – the sluggish and sleepy feeling that comes on sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. (i.e., trouble concentrating, feeling moody, experiencing a headache or stomach ache).

  4. Diet affects general health and quality of life. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, a workplace’s positive influence on food choices can influence employees’ long-term health and wellness–reading risk of heart disease and cancer, boosting mood and self-esteem, decreasing anxiety and stress, promoting healthy weight loss, and increasing energy to spend time with family and friends outside of work.

Your workplace’s relationship with food can impact the overall culture of your business.

Many big-name tech companies, including Airbnb and LinkedIn, are currently providing employees with some kind of healthy food program at work. Your company’s food program can become part of the company culture, and here’s why:

  1. Food can affect relationships among employees. According to a ZeroCater survey, 90% of employees say that sharing meals at the workplace helped establish more robust bonds with their coworkers.

  2. You can offer food as a benefit or perk. One survey found that nearly 40% of employees rank office food right alongside vacation time and professional development, making it one of the most highly ranked amenities a workplace can offer.

  3. Healthier food might turn into lower health insurance costs. Eating healthy food may lead to less sickness, translating to fewer trips to the doctor and lower medical bills.

Healthy snacks can create social bonding.

Food is one of the best ice breakers out there! All over the world, eating is a social event in many ways–seen as a way to connect and communicate. As mentioned briefly above, an inviting, well-stocked Fresh Fridge and eating area will organically bring people together to converse. Suddenly, your communal snack and food area become a place of social bonding!

The accessibility of providing healthy office snacks within the workplace is undeniable.

Especially in times of COVID-19, placing healthy food options a reach away saves trips to the store and neighboring restaurants. Having healthy bowls, salads, sandwiches and wraps, snacks, and drinks readily available means that employees are much more likely to partake in the healthy eating trend. Check out our menu here for some ideas of what we offer!

So, as you can likely see by now, there are a lot of reasons why implementing a healthy office snack program is important, and in many ways, beneficial to employee health and the workplace culture. To learn more about our Fresh Fridge service, visit our website here, or you can reach out directly to us here.

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