“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – attributed to Hippocrates
It’s a well-documented fact the right balance of nutritious food is paramount to good health, for many reasons – lower risks of disease, improved mental health, the ability to maintain a healthier weight and a stronger, more energetic body, thanks to the nutrients a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and wholegrains can provide.
Workplaces are now starting to incorporate a healthier range of snacks and food for their workforce. Why? Simply put, if a healthy diet helps gives us a healthy mind, then perhaps that will have a positive impact upon our performance at work and productivity levels, too. Now, business leaders can’t dictate to individual employees what they should and shouldn’t consume, but offering a range of healthier alternatives in the workplace is never a bad thing.
65% of employees found healthy snacks very or extremely important in the workplace
Here are six examples of workplaces going the extra mile to provide healthy options for their staff:
L’Oréal are encouraging their workforce to make healthier food choices by stocking their canteen with only healthy fruit, berries, vegetables, salads and yoghurts. The brand have also announced a global commitment to all their employees:
“In the UK a special and highly comprehensive programme has been in place since 2010, encompassing many initiatives such as the promotion of a balanced diet in the staff restaurant and lessons in yoga and bodily expression held on the site each week”.
This London workplace has been carefully designed with people in mind. Everything within the workspace is to accommodate an open collaborative style, with employee wellbeing being a top priority. In the mornings, people can help themselves to a range of appealing fresh fruit smoothies, and the communal cafeteria provide healthy snacks all day.
Bandwidth are a communications company based in the US. Included in their wellness programme is a 90-minute Fitness Lunch, which involves taking 90 minutes out during the day to be active and focus on health, whether that means playing sport, attending a Zumba or yoga class, going to the gym, or using the time to go home for a healthy homemade lunch.
The business also provides a personal trainer and nutritionist, who are on site to have 1:1 conversations with the workforce. This kind of support and attention to detail can definitely go a long way in helping improve productivity.
55% of employees reported a noticeable change in their physical health
Danone’s mission statement is to bring ‘health through food and beverages’. This isn’t just applied to the products they sell – it applies to their employees and workspaces, too. Danone have implemented a companywide programme, aptly named Health Matters.
Different initiatives make up this programme, including an exercise/healthy eating programme named Invigorate, which was introduced in 2016. The employee canteen offers a variety of healthy food options, too. “Regardless of exactly what is offered, I feel that the existence of Health Matters demonstrates that the business goes one step further to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees. It makes us feel we are valued as individuals.“
This company doesn’t just encourage healthy eating; they have taken employee engagement and health to the next level. Back In 2014, Draper was voted the healthiest workplace in the United States by Healthiest Employers LLC. This is because of their approach to employee health, with companywide enrolment programmes, from weight loss to quick smoking programmes.
Collectively, the workforce has lost 3,000 pounds and has reduced blood pressure and high cholesterol incidents by approximately 1/3 amongst its workforce. Their most recent initiative was “Walk to Hawaii”, where employees where encouraged to walk the equivalent distance from the office to Hawaii. All those that participated went into the draw to win an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii, obviously!
Google New York Office
We all know that this tech giant, among other perks, have extensive cafeterias onsite for their workforce, but they’ve also taken steps to encourage staff to make healthier food choices – by supplying smaller plates, portion size has been reduced; soda and candy are also no longer on view, meaning that in the first two months of the removal of the giant M&M dispenser, New York employees reduced their intake by 3.1 million calories.
Google have also taken on a few tricks of the restaurant trade, by placing healthier food items such as the salad bar at the front of the cafeteria. Dessert sizes have been reduced to three bites per portion, to encourage employees to think about returning for seconds.
Charlotte Bradley I Channel and Alliances Manager I Condeco