25 Apr, 2021

Workplace Lunches & Why They’re Important

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Work Trends
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Written by
Bianca Polizzi
While employers must provide at least a 30-minute lunch break for every eight hours worked, it’s not yet standard practice for companies to offer their employees a meal.

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - François de la Rochefoucauld

The average office worker spends up to $37 every week for lunches which comes to a staggering $2000 a year. If you’re a business owner, you may think that it would simply be impossible to incorporate these costs into your overhead, but perhaps if you knew the benefits, you’d think again.

Communication Is Key

Whether provided for or not, staff lunches should allow for a communal space whereby employees can take their break and catch up with colleagues. Having space where all employees can maintain contact, no matter the seniority level, is ideal for breaking down barriers.

Encouraging coworkers to eat together will reinforce bonds between teams that wouldn’t necessarily interact otherwise, thereby improving communication. And better communication can have an impact on your company’s growth and turnover.

The way you can incorporate this in the remote working world is by having an open Zoom call for anyone going on short tea breaks to longer lunch breaks. This will encourage those to voluntarily sign on and join in on the conversation that is happening, to get some of that much needed human interaction that we are all so lacking during the lockdown.

You can encourage this even further by sending out WFH gift cards that allow your employees to order food in from their favorite delivery restaurants to the comfort of their homes. By sending these small gestures out, you’ll be creating a great opportunity for employees to meet others in a more casual setting, compared to the usual morning Zoom calls that don’t allow for much personality to shine through the computer screen.

Team Meals Show Appreciation

Whether on a daily, weekly, or celebration-only basis, team meals are a way to show your employees that they are valued. By showing that their efforts are appreciated, your employees are more likely to continue that exceptional work.

When employees begin to realize that they are not being valued in the workplace, it leads to feelings of demotivation, which, when bad enough, can lead them to look for new opportunities. So keep the good vibes flowing - and show your appreciation (it’s what we believe in most here at Gifted!).

Healthy Diets Are Good For You

Healthy employees are happy employees - and this also leads to less absenteeism, which will save your company money in the long run! So encourage a variety of healthy meals by sending them diverse restaurant options in your gift carding to persuade your employees to try new meal options. If they like it, you could do a follow-up healthy cooking class as a team building activity via Zoom! Or start a healthy recipe group or home-cooked food photo competition every week to include in your weekly catch ups calls, making remote work more fun.

If you need another reason to motivate your employees to eat healthy, not only have studies shown that those who have more nutritious diets are more productive, unhealthy diets on the other hand, account for up to 66% less productivity in the workplace! ‘Lettuce’ eat all salad then!

Interactions Leads To Better Productivity

Allowing your employees the opportunity to connect and bond over meals boosts their levels of happiness and keeps morale high. And when this happens, it has a direct effect on their productivity.

Not only are your employees feeling more valued, but they are also getting the opportunity to create friendships that will make the workday more enjoyable. Having happy, productive employees will decrease the turnover rate with which employees may leave your company.

We all know the extraordinary costs of finding and training replacements, so by keeping the retention rate high, you are once again saving money in the long run.

If providing daily meals isn’t in the immediate pipeline for your company, you can look at providing lunches to celebrate with your employees for special occasions. And, our current status shouldn’t stop us from doing that. If your employees are working from home, get creative by providing them with an unexpected gift card so that you can enjoy a meal, all together over Zoom.

"Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together." - Guy Fieri

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