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Benefits of promoting a healthy diet at the office

Healthy diet! No, we are not going to speak about what a healthy diet is.  You probably don’t need this fantastic article to tell you Why it’s so important that you take care of your employees being healthy. But, anyway, I thought is important to make a friendly reminder for those who want to have a look.

We live surrounded by adverts of healthy diets. Instagrammers tell you how lovely their avocado and salmon toast is, and how curcuma is the new miracle healing product (matcha is out now, Sturbucks has already change the matcha latte for the curcuma latte 🙁 )

The big super employers, like google or Facebook or Amazon, give free food to their employees. Maybe not fully healthy as per the book “How Google works” insinuates as some point mentioning lots of sugar. Any how, employees get free food and snacks while the office is open, so they don’t have to worry about spending an hour cooking or buying food in order to get a nice and healthy lunch at the office.

Obviously, having your employees food paid on daily basis could be really costly, and if you margin is not that high, it could be even more complicated. But, why these giants do it? What are the benefits of giving food to your employees? Why do big companies invest that amount of money in feeding their employees?

Picture via @Dreamstime. Eric Gevaert

Really simple, they want them to be happy…. And productive. Not having to spend time going to the supermarket or preparing food may give your employees time to be working at the office, but it could end up wrongly as they may be parents and could do it anyway for their family 🙂

It’s all about them being happy, and healthy, therefore, not being sick. But is not only about the days they are off sick. It Is about them not having a lot of headaches, or a cold every year, or those days that they didn’t sleep properly due to a heavy dinner, as they didn’t have a proper breakfast and/ or lunch. If they don’t sleep, it is not necessary that we explain how they will not be 100% in the morning.

The most important thing about promoting healthy eating habits, is that they would be more productive as they are feeling active, as they are feeling happier.

Not having to go to doctor appointments from time to time it is also a good benefit of promoting a healthy diet.  Don’t get me wrong there are some illnesses that unfortunately you cannot correct by having a healthy diet. Some of them just come if you are just unlucky enough.

Promoting a healthy diet doesn’t mean that none of your employees will have a serious illness. However, you would be taking some of the overweight causes and consequences out of their way. You will also take some of the headache causes and you will take some of that cold causes. All these 3, are usually the ones causing most of your sick leaves.

So, WHY IS IMPORTANT TO PROMOTE A HEALTHY DIET AMONGST YOUR EMPLOYEES?

I recently read an article about Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis player. The article was around how serious he takes his diet. Indeed, he is very straight with everything that has to do with his performance.  He sees his body as a machine to take care of, and that is what he does, he gives the best nutrients to his body, so it’s on the best possible condition.

Having said this, I’m not implying you and your employees have to always be eating green and pure protein or have to be a top performer athlete, Rafael also has a drink from time to time.  However, it is important that as a company you make an effort to surround them with the right choice.

Picture via Dreamstime @Viorel Dudau

A recent research I read about recently, explained how  lacking certain nutrients in your body could be a cause depression, this for sure could affect your employees performance, engagement.

You need your team to be engaged with your project and you need them to be happy with  the company they are working for. For sure, you don’t need someone toxic, and who will be complaining around.

Why is important that you are happy?

A big percentage of toxic people at any office, I would dare to say, most of the people who complain have reasons to complain, but exactly the same as the others who don’t complain.

So, why are they complaining about everything? It is usually an external reason. They could not be happy with their job and they want to move. However, it could be difficult to find something else. People can go through rough times in their lives, death or illness of a relative, divorce and at those times is when they will be lower. They will not take care of themselves. Those are the times when you really appreciate the external support.

According to recent surveys, a third of british UK office workers usually skip breakfast, which could mean a lost on productivity. Worryingly enough, of those asked on the research, 8% of those who lost lunch, also didn’t have breakfast.

They say that food  & music calm the beasts… and also people 🙂 when someone had a good breakfast, they are usually more relaxed. Research has proved on hundreds of occasions that the brain works better when is relaxed, but also when is  well nourished.  

If you go to work and have a lovely breakfast, some fresh fruit in the morning some toast with some avocados  or whatever is more common in your country or in your city. Having for breakfast something that is healthy, and given as an option ,instead of the morning coffee, some tea or herbal tea, that could really change your mood. If your office is a welcoming place. That makes the difference.

Picture from Dreamstime, Stanislav Fridkin

It is really about being creative around the breakfast. If you have a vending machine full of snacks, try to speak to the provider and check whether if they can I add some healthy snack options  instead of the M&Ms or the Mars. Maybe you could add some nuts, or dried fruits or you want them to have more juices instead of cola refreshments. Or maybe you want them to have something that is very typical in your country.

Imagine if some of your employees feel that their morning relaxing coffee is just after they dropped the kids, they go to the office and catch up with some friends… that makes them happier at the office.

If you don’t want to be bothered with arranging healthy food to be coming every day, there are also other options, like arranging discounts on a local restaurant (home made preferably) for them, or arranging restaurant tickets for them. In some countries this restaurant tickets have a tax discount so you can also be topping up their salary for no extra cost for you.

So, as a summary, the benefits of promoting a healthy diet at the office

  • Reduces the time lost in going to buy snacks
  • What you eat, affects your performance, not only physically, but mentally and having a healthy diet and regular activity improves your health and therefore, decreases absence leave.
  • It is a substitute of the water fountain. A time where people that usually don’t interact together, get to speak around the bowl of fruit or the toasts
  • Improves the feeling of a caring company, therefore, employee engagement
  • Improves efficiency in your employees

Some consequences of a poor diet.

  • Nutrients deficiency which could lead into illnesses.
  • Overweight could cause heart diseases, diabetes and a big list that you wouldn’t want your employees to suffer.
  • Overweight (35% of Americans (US) are overweight according to the website State of obesity, and a little bit lower, but not enough goes for europe, with percentages of 20% to 32% in some countries)

We hope that was helpful thank you very much for reading.  See you next week.

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