As the time we spend at work increases, so do the number of meals we consume at places of work. However, it’s often the case that little attention is paid to exactly what employees are eating and how it affects both workplace wellness and performance.

With so many foods proven to have detrimental effects on brain performance, is it time that employers paid closer attention to their food offerings?

Why Poor Diet Choices Lead to Lower Productivity

“You are what you eat” is an old adage that still holds plenty of weight in today’s modern world. Healthy, balanced, and nutritious diets allow the body to process and maximise nutrients for optimal energy levels.

Consuming poor dietary choices such as foods high in refined sugars or saturated fats, you are consuming so-called “empty calories” that give you no tangible nutritional benefit.

Poor nutrition during the working day can lead to several unintended negative consequences to your health such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Reduced cognitive abilities
  • Irritability – there is such a thing as Hanger!
  • Lower energy levels
  • Experiences of “Brain Fog”
  • Lower productivity

Several studies have shown that employees who make healthy choices perform better in the workplace.

A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology concluded that the more fruits and vegetables workers consumed, the happier, more engaged, and more creative they tended to be.

A further study conducted by Brown University was able to establish that healthier eaters were able to work for longer and achieve higher incomes. Whilst participants in another analysis conducted by Brigham Young University were 66% more likely to report a loss in productivity that healthy eaters.

Water is more freely available at work so that employees keep hydrated. Yet many companies continue to ply their employees with poor nutritional options within in-house canteens and other outside catering options.

But the advantages of better food offerings don’t end with improved productivity levels and reduced employee sickness rates. The social benefits of great food should not be overlooked.

Interesting Food Experiences Reap Higher Rates of Employee Engagement

In the age of adapting to increased employee expectations, companies are having to work increasingly hard to help employees enjoy coming to work.

Food can help to foster improved team bonding and increases in employee engagement.

Whether it’s ordering in late-night shared meals for teams working late, putting on a pop-up outdoor summer restaurant for al fresco dining, or delivering fruit boxes to give a staff a post-lunch energy boost, exciting food-based experiences can help to both attract and retain top talent.

Employee expectations are changing. As Millennials and Generation Z entering the workforce are increasingly assessing how companies differentiate themselves through their employee benefits. Offering poorly-thought-out food choices in a stale canteen environment is unlikely to inspire them to join or remain at your company.

Better Food Creates Better Employees

As we’ve demonstrated, better dietary choices can have numerous benefits for both your company and your employees.

Employee wellbeing, productivity, and engagement all tend to improve when food choices are switched to healthier options. But how you deliver the food also has an impact, with food-based events and experiences improving social bonding and engagement amongst employees.

Here at DocHQ we can help you to deliver industry-beating workplace wellness programmes that incorporate all aspects of a working environment, including food choices.

Furthermore, when sickness symptoms strike, our employee packages can provide GP consultations and prescriptions within 24 hours, ensuring your staff are able to either remain in work or return much faster when compared to using traditional healthcare options. So if you want to differentiate your employee benefits offering from your competitors, don’t hesitate to schedule a call with one of our team to discuss your employee wellness options.

DocHQ Ltd is a Health Tech company improving choices. We help you connect efficiently to health support and advice whether you are at home, work or travelling. See our website for our services or call us on 0330 088 0645.