In some parts of the U.S., it’s been a growing trend for companies to offer snacks and drinks for their employees in the office. Some companies even offer full, gourmet catered office meals on a daily basis. The pandemic in 2020 has no doubt changed where we physically work, but companies have still found creative ways to offer food to their employees—whether they are remote or in-office.
Regardless of how much you are able to offer to your employees, the reality is that this type of perk provides more benefits to you, the employer, than you may think. But, we’re not talking just about any type of snacks and drinks. We’re talking about the nutritious kind. Read on to learn why you should consider healthy snacks as the ultimate employee benefit.
1. Attract and Retain the Best Talent
Companies that invest in their employee’s well-being are more attractive to today’s top talent. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 57% of respondents said they take perks and benefits offered into consideration before accepting a job offer. Glassdoor also reported wellness programs, inclusive of healthy snacks, as one of five job benefits that attract top talent.
The job market is so competitive right now. The only way to differentiate your company from the pack is by offering the best benefits and perks you can afford. Seriously. Realize that you’re not just offering healthy office snacks and drinks. You’re sending the message to prospective and current employees that you care about their well-being and value their contribution to the success of your business.
2. Increased Productivity
This should be the most compelling reason to consider switching to healthy snacks for your company. Think about this: When people are busy and on-the-go, they tend to reach for whatever is easy and available.
A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology demonstrated that healthy eating throughout the day isn’t just good for the body, it is also good for the mind. The more healthful foods people consumed during the day – the happier, more engaged, and more creative they were.
3. Foster a Sense of Community
Where there’s food, people will follow. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the office kitchen is typically the place where most people will gather and mingle. Post-COVID, the water cooler chats look a bit different on Zoom, but regardless of how you engage with your team—offering healthy snacks in a kitchen or by delivery can motivate, inspire, and help increase productivity by the sense of community that is formed by eating the snacks together. According to Gallup, people who incorporated social interactions at the office (or on Zoom) felt more supported and had higher job satisfaction.
4. Tax Benefits
You may think that your company is not yet at the point of offering perks like free snacks and drinks. Think again. Earlier this year, the IRS ruled that, when offered on a consistent basis at work, healthy office snacks are tax-deductible. While full business meals are no longer fully deductible, you can still deduct 50% of the cost from now until 2025.
There are a number of changes relating to business meals and entertainment, so be sure to consult the IRS for any questions you may have about the recent amendment.
Why the Healthy Alternative
Eating the right foods can play a central role in combating chronic health issues like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. And we know for a fact that not all snacks are created equal. Our Founder & CEO, Michael Heinrich, realized that the office snacks offered by his past employers were making him feel sluggish in the afternoon. There was plenty of research that explained why.
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study of employees across the U.S. and found that the foods they were getting at work contained high amounts of salt, sugar and empty calories. A study out of Brigham Young University found that “employees with unhealthy diets were 66 percent more likely to report having a loss in productivity.”
Unhealthy habits are expensive—not only for individuals and society in general but also for employers. Over the past ten years, chronic diseases have increased by 25 percent in working-age adults, and the CDC estimates that productivity losses due to missed work cost employers $225.8 billion (yes, with a B), or $1,685 per employee, annually.
This information and remembering what his grandmother—a medical doctor—taught him: “what you put in your body impacts your health,” led Michael to create garten, formerly Oh My Green.
garten is on a mission to transform the office into a destination for healthier living. If you’re not a garten customer, get on board now and make the upgrade!