Companies are changing how their employees eat lunch by providing catered meals onsite. Dreamworks, Facebook and Google are among the top 10 companies Glassdoor names as places that provide free, healthy lunch choices to their workers. Why do employers choose to spend money on this extra perk? There’s a lot for the employer to gain from this, as well.
5 Mutual Benefits of Feeding Employees
1. Increased Employee Morale
According to the Glassdoor’s findings, companies that provided meals had higher overall employee satisfaction ratings. And when employees are happy, their productivity increases. Also, complimentary lunches can be a draw for new talent; when competition for a particular type of employee is fierce, then the extra perk can’t hurt.
2. Stronger Connections Between Employees
When employees from different departments sit down in the same place to eat every day, this helps them form stronger, more positive connections with each other. Interactions with other employees and with management are easier to come by in this setting, and mealtime conversations lead to connections between colleagues who otherwise wouldn’t interact. This intercompany networking can help foster creativity and may lead to positive outcomes for the organization.
3. Increased Productivity
As mentioned above, a happy worker is more productive, but free lunches can have a more direct impact on employee productivity. Instead of leaving work and spending time waiting in line for fast food, your employees can chat about business with their coworkers over a leisurely, healthy meal. Many studies show that eating healthier foods leads to more activity and concentration when workers are at their desks.
4. Healthier Workforce
When your employees are healthy, they can cost their employer less. They miss fewer days, have better productivity, and health insurance costs are lower. This means when you provide healthy meals it can be a win-win situation for you and your staff. The option of a square meal for your employees can make a significant difference in their overall health. By paying for the lunches now, the company is avoiding paying later in increased health insurance costs for overweight or unhealthy workers.
5. Tax Benefits
Even with these five great benefits to the employer, it may be hard to justify the expense. However, the money businesses spend on lunches can often be tax deductible. There are some requirements that need to be met but, in general, when an employer provides lunch, snacks, and/or drinks to their employees on the premises, these costs can be fully deducted. It doesn’t even count as employee income for tax purposes.
Does your company feed you? If not, you might send this article to your manager or boss to see if they can take a hint. Good luck!