Snacking in the Workplace
As things go, it's safe to say we've all probably snacked at work. It’s commonplace for work space colleagues to bring their own food and snacks to the office.
But with competition between employers becoming increasingly competitive for the best talent, many businesses now provide food at work to help differentiate their offering (and sweeten their members!).
Another reason for providing snacks is that it brings people together. For officers eager to build and strengthen their co-working communities, food helps encourage members to gather, talk, connect and collaborate.
It's so important to be mindful of what you eat throughout the working day. For Office Administrators, Managers and Employers who choose to provide snacks and beverages, it pays to be mindful of what you offer employees. Healthy snacks are a win-win, and we’re here to help you create and organise a standout office snack station.
These tips below make it easy to add some creativity and flair to your choice of healthy office snacks - or what we're calling 'snack station' - the perk every modern employee wants!
Assign a 'Snack Master'
Office snacking shouldn’t be a burden – in fact, simply assign and inspire a person to take charge of office snacks time and energy. But you should designate a colleague to make sure your office snacks are being displayed in a way that works for your team. It's quite a perk - everyone loves the person in charge of the snacks - but does come with responsibility. This means stopping snack hoarders, stock control so you don’t run out to quick, and simply tweaking your weekly order to fit your office’s snacking needs.
The Office Snack Master is likely your company’s Office Manager, Vibe Manager, Admin, or HR Manager. (And if you’re reading this article… it’s probably you!)
Stick to Healthy Options (or least healthier)
The last thing you need is to offer snacks that reduce or even inhibit your team’s performance. Avoid sugar-filled treats like sweets, processed foods, and chemical-laden beverages like carbonated sugary drinks – all of which can cause energy crashes, sluggishness, or depressed mood. Instead, choose snacks that are high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats. They keep you fuller longer, support cognition, and help regulate mood.
Healthy is trending, and there's a host of healthier alternatives to satisfy any office craving.
A sugary soft drink might provide a quick burst of energy, but your blood sugar levels will inevitably crash. Processed or refined sugar heavy products just don't provide sustained energy for the standard workday. Setting the tone for a healthier work environment starts with you.
By supplying your office with healthy, nutrient-dense snacks, you can combat these negative workplace behaviours and help your staff stay fuller and more focused.
Create a Feedback Box
What’s the secret to creating a popular Snack Station? Providing snacks catered to your employees’ preferences! Encourage your 'Snack Master' to design a survey to find out what people want to eat. You can also figure out what snacks people love by creating an inventory tracking system and observing which snacks disappear the fastest and which snacks hang around that little longer. You can even add a box near your snack station labeled 'snack suggestions' to find out what people want.
While your stock system and reorder pattern will reveal what your office like, it’s always a good idea to request direct feedback. Create a monthly survey where people vote on their favourite snacks (and explain why they like them), or just add a white board so people can vote on their favourites while the flavours are top of mind. People also like variety and novelty. We're always adding to our range ourselves, so be sure to check in online from time to time.
The same holds true for your actual Snack Station display. Yes, you may want to neatly display snacks, but the real outcome is to create a space where people across the office can experience engaging encounters with one another. Try to avoid an open box free for all, open bowls and jars and discourage staff from taking more than one item at a time.
After all we're all social creatures. Your team will be more engaged and have a better understanding of your business when you get the display and space just right.
Encourage Honesty Donation
There’s an obvious catch 22 here. When your snacks are better for you and taste amazing, they tend to disappear quickly. One way to keep your snacks from flying off too quickly (and to help bring some control) is to add a little bit of friction to the process – like introducing an honesty box or tip jar. You can either use the money to help off set the cost of the snacks, or better yet, donate the money each month to a charity of your choice.
Catering for Different Needs
Your office is likely filled with a number of snack profiles to list - carnivores, vegans, keto dieters, high-protein lovers, organic-only, and so much more.
Include employees in the success of your snack station, and they will love it even more. Create a sign-up sheet where people can volunteer to contribute a special weekly 'guest pick' to the station. Employees will love showing off their favourite healthy snacks with the rest of the company. Plus, this practice will solidify the sense of community inspired by the snack station.
How about circulating healthy snack ideas and insights to inspire employees to bring their own feel-good options to the table.
Your snack station makes the perfect foundation and location for other health and wellness initiatives you might have in place (or have been considering but just unsure how to implement). With team members flocking to the station to pick up healthy snacks, it’s the perfect place to start building a complete 'wellness corner.'
Partnering with Epicurium