What should I eat for lunch? All the food-courts, the many (or lack of) nearby restaurants, supermarkets, takeout stands ... It is easy to get caught up in decision paralysis when it comes to choosing the right lunch during work. And on top of that, how long does it actually take to drag ourselves out of the office, select something tasty, order it, eat it and clear it away? And does this have negative financial implications for your company?
We don’t need to waste so much time during lunch!
Generally speaking, employers and employees alike are used to this daily lunchtime routine - and we suspect you may have experienced it too at one point at least. When you consider the total amount of time your team loses through this, some alarm bells may start to sound in your head: After all, lost time means less time to make money in. Luckily, there is something you can do about this - explore these four ideas which we delve into in this blog.
- Idea One: Offer your employees some lunch catering!
Too many chefs spoil the broth. We are swamped with choice these days and this is also the case during the lunch break. There is no denying that there are too many lunch options, which easily lead to further daily “analysis paralysis”, not to mention the time it takes to queue, order and wait. Simply speaking: Too much choice can cost time and money.
Can you do something about this as an HR manager?
Luckily, some options are available to you. More and more companies these days use online lunch catering providers, who deliver lunch directly to the office. You thereby save a lot of time, and the food itself is delivered at a predetermined time to your office.
Imagine this scenario: Your morning is over and you are looking forward to a tasty lunch as well as a small opportunity to unwind with your colleagues. Upon heading to the lunch room, nothing is more convenient and satisfying than seeing your own and your team’s lunch already delivered and neatly placed. This pleasant (and also realistic) scenario also saves you from spending too much time with the all-too familiar lunchtime question “What should I eat for lunch”.
- Idea Two: Eat together with your employees to improve communication in the workplace!
When you have your lunch delivered to the office, your team can sit with each other and enjoy the lunch break together. We have already mentioned in a previous post that you will benefit from team lunches on many levels - especially from free-flowing communication in the workplace, impacting positively on your employees’ productivity.
How does it work?
It is actually quite logical - team lunches bring employees from various departments together and encourage them to exchange ideas as well as developing personal relationships with each other. This allows communication to flow much smoother between departments.
You should consider that improved communication in the workplace isn’t just a mere bonus for your company. Poor communication at work costs companies in the USA a total of 37 Billion US Dollars a year through lost productivity, and communication barriers between employers and employees costs the average company around 62 Million US Dollars a year due to lost efficiency. So, for starters, team lunches are a good alternative to the daily ritual of heading out for lunch, buying it and picking it up.
- Idea Three: Calculate how productivity impacts financially
It can’t be stressed enough - the lunch break is a time that counts. With many financial implications for your company, it is vital to make the most of it.
Let’s say that your company has 80 employees in the office, who earn an average of 40,000 Euros a year before tax. When every employee leaves the office for an hour every day to take lunch, your company loses around 400,000 Euros per year in lost productivity from the lunch break alone.
Provided food means productivity, productivity means revenue!
When you provide your employees with free food, you will more likely than not make a high return on investment. This is one of the many reasons why providing food at work has become an ever popular trend.
The answer is simple - the more employees that leave the office for lunch, the higher the cost for your company. If food is provided in the office, the appeal of the nearby hot-dog stand or ready-made sandwiches in the supermarket drops significantly. This is especially the case if your company is located in an industrial estate. The time needed here to go out and get lunch is much higher.
- Idea Four: Emphasize fresh ingredients for your office lunch!
The food itself plays a crucial role. Sugary and fatty snacks from nearby fast-food joints are exciting treats, there is no denying that - yet they can make you feel sleepy very quickly, leading to long afternoons where time stands still. Salads on the other hand are the healthier option, yet they often lack enough energy sources to keep you going.
Of course, we don’t want to condescend every meal. However, your employees need the right meal containing fresh ingredients to be able to crack on into the afternoon. The odd exception here and there is completely fine - yet it is more beneficial to you if your employees keep unhealthy lunch habits to a minimum. Lethargic workforces are less productive and make less money than those who eat healthy.
- Summary: Providing food in the office keeps analysis paralysis at bay
The evidence is overwhelming. A lunch program or even free food in the office pays out double every time - you gain lost time and productivity, and therefore save a whole load of costs. Smunch covers these positive aspects for your company and helps you to make the most out of your own and your team’s lunch break. Too many chefs spoil the broth - every second at work counts in an ever-more competitive age we experience today.