Work is a significant part of most people’s lives. Understandably, therefore, employees want to work at a job they enjoy and for a company they like. Offering food-based perks can help to make the work-day more fun. It can also bring a lot of practical benefits for the employer.

To explain further, Jamie-Leigh James, Marketing Executive at Cema Vending, looks into how food-based perks can provide wellbeing and social benefits to any business.

People need caffeine

Tea and coffee may not, technically, be foods. Many people, however, regard them as vital fuel for their day. In fact, tea and coffee facilities are arguably not so much perks as office essentials.

Traditionally, offices have kettles within a kitchen area. These days, however, vending machines are likely to be a more practical and cost-effective option. There’s no risk of spillage as there is with kettles and as water is only heated as needed within vending machines, less electricity is used.

Drink vending machines are also much faster than kettles. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of it, a report suggested that more than three working days is wasted through ‘micro breaks’ which included making hot drinks.

If you consider how many people are in your office and if at least half are tea drinkers, that could be quite a bit of time for one person to make everyone a cuppa. This is just another reason why vending machines that serve drinks could be more cost and time effective as it would take less time to make a cup of coffee, than your kettle might.

On-site snacks are convenient

Vending machines can also be a convenient way to help staff deal with “snack attacks”. The key to filling them effectively is to remember that most people snack for one of two reasons. Firstly, they might just fancy a treat. Secondly, they might be genuinely hungry. This means you typically want to offer a mixture of savoury and sweet treats plus healthy options.

Again, depending on your budget you could either charge for these or subsidize them to some extent. If you did choose to charge for them, you could either do so at a profit or offer them at cost price. One option would be to offer the healthy snacks for free or subsidized but charge full price (or close to it) for the unhealthy ones.

Communal food encourages socializing

“The family that eats together stays together” isn’t just a popular quote for kitchen decor. It’s backed by science and, in theory, it works for companies too. The social and wellbeing benefits of having the ability to eat with your colleagues can help to boost morale and allow for different areas of the business to come together and get to know one another – instead of just waiting for the Christmas party.

Other benefits of enabling staff to work together is the ability to create a space, or in this case a canteen area which can feel separate to the more traditional office space. If your employees feel as though they’ve stepped out of work for an hour or so, their energy levels will receive a boost once they get back to the office.

Most businesses want their employees’ job performance to be at the highest it can be and communal eating can help with just that. Although this type of socialising does come at a cost, the overall benefits can outweigh the cost, especially if you consider staff can learn to work better together as they bond over lunch.