Redesigning Food at Work
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
As we enter the sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, so much of our world has changed. Our workaday lives prior to the pandemic have shifted dramatically to include social distancing, the wearing of face masks, and major restrictions on recreation and socializing. This all begs the question: with so many new limitations ruling the way we interact with others, how can the company culture you’ve worked so hard to build be maintained when we all go back to working in-person? And, more specifically, how can company culture be applied to the essential employees already onsite for your business?
The simplest and most effective way to continue promoting the culture you’ve built at work is to consider offering your employees a paid or subsidized lunch program. In doing so, you’ll reward your onsite employees, keep your workplace safe, boost productivity, engage returning employees, and support local restaurants.
Let’s face facts: this has been an unprecedented time in human history and the stress and uncertainty have taken tolls on everyone. Your essential office workers have stuck it out for the last five months, and it’s likely that more employees are trickling into the office as restrictions are slowly being lifted. By providing lunch for your onsite employees, you are offering a tangible token of your appreciation for their hard work through the pandemic.
Even if you aren’t buying full meals for your employees, a simple lunch subsidy can go a long way towards supporting your employees in the office. By providing even just two dollars towards the cost of your employees’ lunch, you can make your employees feel appreciated and rewarded as they continue to work for your organization.
Offering a subsidy or providing a meal to your employees encourages everyone to stay in the office during lunchtime. In so doing, you are limiting exposure office-wide. Think about it this way: when you leave lunch up to your employees, those who didn’t bring food from home often leave to find food elsewhere. Those that leave the office for lunch risk being exposed and bringing their exposure back to your workplace. Ordering lunch or offering a subsidy to your employees working onsite is a foolproof way to ensure you are limiting outside contact and contaminants.
Check out our whitepaper on food safety in our new reality.
A purchased or subsidized lunch program at work is a great way to give your employees their time back. By encouraging your employees to stay on campus for their lunch hour, you’re ensuring that your employees will no longer need to wait in limited-capacity elevator banks and possible temperature checks at reentry. Given the current state of affairs, even the most mundane daily activities can become high-tension stressors. By removing the stress associated with leaving the building, your employees will remain calm and focused throughout the workday.
Your employees have been stuck at home for months, and for some, going back into the office will provide a welcome respite to the monotony associated with a long and persistent period of social isolation. After all, everybody’s world got a lot smaller during the restrictions imposed this year. But will the return to working in-person alone be enough to provide lasting engagement with your employees? Although many aspects of office culture will have changed upon returning, a fully or partially subsidized meal program at work will provide the reliable and long term variety necessary for effective employee engagement.
Although the global outlook on the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be trending towards optimistic, many industries continue to suffer the effects of nationally and regionally mandated safety measures. Local restaurants, which serve as pillars of their communities, are no exception and have faced empty dining rooms for months. Community social support has never been stronger as people fight to keep their favorites afloat. The best thing that corporations can do to support local restaurants is to give them the opportunity to serve your team. A food program at work is an effortless way to reinvest in your community.