Published on Dec 7, 2015

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Do you offer your staff members a biscuit with morning tea? Can they help themselves to a cool drink or a good coffee – on the house? Is there a complimentary Cup-A-Soup or piece of fruit to get your team through the day?

The key to boosting productivity in the workplace could be in providing nourishment to fuel output.

If you are an employer or business owner you probably baulk at the idea of the cost of providing free snacks to employees.  Indeed, it is the accepted convention in Australia that employees BYO snacks.

However, new research shows leaving staff to their own snacking devices could cost more than you think.

A 2011 US study by Staples found that half of all workers leave their office to retrieve snacks at least once per day—some up to five times—resulting in an estimated productivity loss of 2.4 billion hours across the US each year.

What if sustenance was within arm’s reach, if employees could easily and conveniently obtain a salty, healthy or sweet reward?  Could they have more commitment and dedication to their work?

A 2015 survey by workplace US catering company Peapod found 16 per cent of employees reported having access to free snacks.  Perhaps not surprisingly these employees reported higher levels of happiness than employees without access to free snacks.

It was also shown employees valued healthy options, with 83 per cent saying “having healthy and fresh snack options (e.g., fruit, vegetables, yogurt, low-calorie snacks) provided in the workplace is a huge perk”.

The number one most popular item delivered by Peapod to workplaces is the humble banana, followed by a range of other fresh fruit options.

So next time the 3pm blues kills productivity in your workplace, take some time to revaluate the snack options on offer.

You might be just a banana away from happy and productive employees!

Check out the infographic below to see what hits the spot with snacking.

Snacking