Can food affect Workplace Happiness?


There are a lot of things that influence people happiness and this how productive, engaged and motivated they are to do their job. What might come as a surprise to you is this that in addition to other topics that I have been writing on my blog, there is one thing that I definitely haven’t touched and this is food.

According to this USA Today article, a survey by grocery-delivery service Peapod, companies that provide free food have happier employees compared with those who don’t. While the majority, 56%, of full-time employees are “extremely” or “very” happy with their current job, that number jumps to 67% among those who have access to free food, the survey of more than 1,000 full-time office workers found.

We know that healthy food is good for a person’s health. But nowadays people just do not have the resources to eat healthily, they eat what and when they can. And they, of course, do not move enough anymore. And here is where the topic of obesity is rising to the picture. For instance, because of that condition, people are at a higher risk for serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that more than one-third of American adults (34.9 percent) and 17 percent (12.7 million) of American children and teens are clinically obese.

You probably have heard saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, right? There is growing evidence that in addition to keeping a doctor away, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is related to greater happiness, life satisfaction, and positive effect. In addition to that, there was a study of 405 young adults who completed an Internet daily diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, participants reported on their consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweets, and chips, as well as their eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, creativity, positive affect, and negative effect. It turned out that fruit and vegetable consumption predicted greater eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity at the between- and within-person levels.

The same thing was confirmed by another study where over 12,000 Australians examined the relationship between well-being and eating fruits and vegetables. The results showed that eating more fruits and vegetables was associated with benefits. Life satisfaction increased as the number of servings of fruits and vegetables increased.

So based on above I would conclude that organizations should seriously think how could they promote healthy eating and support their people for that matter.

Luckily there are a bunch of employers who have realized that they have more to gain than to lose from this when they are offering free and healthy food for their workforce. For instance, according to Glassdoor article, Asana, a company that makes productivity software, owns a culinary team that provides breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner daily. Meals are all organic, sustainably farmed and fished, and local when possible. The same perk is offered at internet giant Yahoo that provides free breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from which most are organic and healthy. Another company that offers free food is Robinhood, a 2013 founded stock trading app that aims to democratize access to financial markets. And as savvy financiers, they know that providing free lunch for their employees is a great investment. Free daily catered lunch and dinner, plus unlimited snacks and drinks. In addition to that every Tuesday night they get catering from a local Chinese restaurant. Every Thursday night they have a noodle night, which could either be pho, ramen, etc.

We know that happy employees are more loyal to their employers, they are more engaged to work, are more creative and less sick. We know that one way to make your people happy is to offer them healthy food or healthy eating opportunities starting from a free meal, healthy snacks or fruit and vegetable baskets in your offices.

Are you supporting your employees healthy eating as well? Leave your comment, share your experience!

Sources used in this post:

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