Nutrition in the workplace – How can employers help?
There are a variety of benefits that quality nutrition in the workplace can bring, but how can employers promote this?
Whilst you won’t be able to force team members into eating nutritional and healthy food, there are straightforward ways of promoting it. People who feed themselves with nutritional and healthier food are more likely to be productive, healthier and have better levels of efficiency.
The impact of diet on work
If a body is fuelled positively, both physical and mental energy are improved. Unhealthy diets that are filled with empty calories and lots of sugar are more associated with lower productivity that can cause sluggishness. Just by eating fruit and vegetables, creativity and curiosity can be improved, but can also improve positivity and happiness.
The positives of promoting nutrition at work
Aside from the positive effect that healthy food can have on ensuring optimal health, when employers help employees make better decisions with food choices, it has the potential to lead to improved levels of wellness through making better choices.
The demands and pressures of the work environment can have a sizeable impact on an employee’s eating habits. It is common that people will skip breakfast or lunch due to time constraints or a commute, and then slow down later in the day, or make mistakes. Eating snacks like cake, chocolate and crisps may boost energy in the short term but will then cause tiredness and reduce work performance. Whilst a lack of energy may be blamed, work performance is only as good as the last meal or snack that was consumed. This is where an employer can help by encouraging highly nutritional meals and snacks, that will benefit the employee on not only a professional level, but a personal one as well.
At Lyreco, we aim to support our customers with their culture and approach to employee wellbeing through Lyreco Wellness from providing helpful tips to the long-term solutions to improve wellness.
Promoting employee well-being through nutrition is a positive initiative for employers, we have put together some examples of how employers can assist their employees with nutrition whilst they are at work. By implementing these initiatives, employers can create a workplace culture that supports and encourages healthy nutrition choices among employees.
Healthy snack options
- Stock the office with a variety of healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt and whole grain granola bars
- Provide a designated space for employees to store and share healthy snacks
- Organise workshops or seminars on nutrition and healthy eating habits. Invite nutritionists or dietitians to share practical tips and answer questions
- Distribute educational materials on nutrition, meal planning and healthy recipes
- Offer access to nutritional counselling services, either in person or virtually, to help employees create personalised dietary plans
- Provide subsidies or reimbursements for employees seeking professional nutrition advice
- Implement comprehensive wellness programs that include nutritional-focused challenges, cooking classes or team-based initiatives
- Recognise and reward employees who actively participate and achieve health-related goals
Healthy cafeteria options
- Collaborate with catering services or the office café to offer healthier meal options
- Clearly label nutritious choices and provide nutritional information for all menu items
- Ensure access to clean and fresh water by setting up hydration stations throughout the office
- Encourage employees to bring reusable water bottles
- Encourage regular breaks for employees to have meals or snacks
- Provide spaces where employees can comfortably eat away from their workstations
- Consider offering on-site fitness facilities or subsidising gym memberships to promote overall health and wellness
- Schedule workout classes or fitness sessions during lunch breaks or before/after working hours
Organise friendly nutrition challenges, such as a Healthy Recipe Cook-Off to make healthy eating fun and engaging.
desk-side wellness resources
- Share resources like nutrition guides, recipe books or wellness newsletters directly to employees’ desks or email inboxes
- Provide links to reputable online resources and apps that promote healthy eating habits
flexible schedules for meals
- Encourage flexible work schedules that allow employees to take sufficient time for lunch and breaks to prioritise healthy eating
- Discourage eating at desks and promote the importance of stepping away to enjoy a proper meal
- Establish partnerships with local health food stores, restaurants or meal subscription services to offer discount to employees
- Negotiate group rates for nutrition-related services or products