In a busy work environment, employees might struggle to even find time to take a lunch break and eat a healthy lunch. However, snacks are another important part of employee wellness throughout the day because stocking your office with nutritious food options has wide-ranging benefits to make your office a better place to work.
Here is New York Office Suites’ guide to a healthy office snack bar with useful tips for stocking your office with great snacks and creative snack organization ideas.
Productivity Benefits of Healthy Office Snacks
The human body needs a steady supply of nutrients to stay focused, energized, and productive. However, not all snacks have these positive benefits in a workplace.
If you provide snacks to your employees that are rich in complex carbohydrates but low in sugars and saturated fats, you are setting your employees up for success in their workdays. Implementing healthy snack bar ideas will help your employees avoid a mid-afternoon energy slump and choose energizing snacks throughout the day. Fresh, whole, and delicious snacks will help your employees make better nutrition decisions throughout the day and promote long-term wellness. This ultimately translates to healthier and happier employees who miss fewer days from work for being sick.
Productivity can also increase with in-office snacks because employees don’t have to leave the office and take more time away from their work to go outside and buy snacks. In-office snacks also make workers less distracted and consumed with figuring out where to get snacks throughout the day, spending their own money, or remembering to bring items from home.
Social Benefits of Office Snacks
There are also many social benefits of providing snacks in the office because snack foods simply have a way of making people happier and in better moods. When an employer provides snacks, it shows that the employer cares about the employees and wants to make the work environment a little more pleasant and enjoyable. Numerous employee surveys have revealed that employees feel more satisfied, appreciated, and valued when their companies purchase and provide snacks for them.
Office snack ideas also bring coworkers together to improve employee engagement and create a welcoming office culture. Having snacks in your office’s kitchen or break room is a great way to encourage employees to interact socially and get to know each other on a more personal level. This can facilitate better connections and communication between employees and management staff in a more relaxed environment than a private office or even a communal coworking space. Even very simple but well-thought-out additions to an office space, such as free snacks, can help you build a company culture that is friendly, personable, social, and inclusive to boost employee retention rates and job satisfaction.
Foods to Offer for Office Snacks
While some foods tend to weigh down employees and make them feel sluggish and unmotivated, other snacks provide valuable nutrition benefits and fuel the bodies of hardworking employees. Here are some of the best snacks that employers can provide for their employees in an office environment:
- Trail mix
- Granola bars
- Greek yogurt
- Low-sodium beef jerky
- Dried fruit
- Dark chocolate
- 100% fruit juice
Creative Snack Organization Ideas
If you are looking to start providing snacks to your employees for the first time, creative snack organization ideas can make the snacks more enticing and accessible. Keep snacks well-organized in your office kitchen’s pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator by grouping similar items together and creating labels for where the items should go. This will make snacks easier to find and also help them not get lost and pushed to the back until they pass their expiration dates.
An attractive snack display of non-perishable items on a designated table in an office breakroom will attract your employees’ attention and encourage them to congregate around the snack bar. You can designate a specific person in your office to be the “company head of snacks” who will be in charge of keeping the snack area clean and organized. Bins, baskets, plastic dividers, and wall-hanging boxes are all effective ways to displays snacks in the area that makes the most sense in your office.
Assessing Employee Food Preferences
Regardless of whether you currently provide employee snacks or are just now considering it for the first time, it’s a good idea to assess the food tastes, preferences, and sensitivities of your employees. You can create a short survey to distribute to your employees to ask about their favorite snacks and what they’d love to see the company provide for them at work.
Assess the results of these surveys and focus on the most popular answers and healthiest foods mentioned to start putting your office snack ideas into practice. Alternatively, or for ongoing feedback, you can place a comment/suggestion box near your snack bar so that employees can anonymously contribute their ideas about snacking in the workplace. Remember to take dietary restrictions into consideration and try to cater as much as possible to employees who don’t eat meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, or other items based on their own health or preferences.
Being Stocked Up on Your Snack Inventory
A snack bar concept is only fun and effective if it remains well-stocked with a variety of items to choose from. Many companies entrust the task of ordering snacks to their office manager since this employee often handles the ordering and inventory of other office supplies as well.
Your office manager or other designated snack manager can keep a simple spreadsheet or use more advanced software to keep track of what is being ordered and consumed the fastest in the office. He or she may also keep track of the costs of snack items, manually inspect snack stations to assess the inventory, and make recommendations to management based on items that are favored by employees or rarely consumed as the weeks go by.
More Office Solutions for Your Employees
At NYC Office Suites, we take a holistic approach to office solutions and help employers do what’s best for their companies and their employees. And as you may have guessed, we also love snacks!
When you work with us for your office space and meeting room needs, we offer a full range of amenities and an administrative staff that can help you make snack arrangements for your team. Leave the office space details to us so you can focus on growing your business and helping your employees be successful.