are your employee's food choices eating away at your business revenue?

Yep you read that right. Your employee’s diets can massively impact your businesses bottom line, and not in a good way.

So if you have never given it a second thought as to what packed-lunches, ready meals and snacks your staff are tucking into throughout their working day, the following will give you some serious food for thought…

3 reasons why employee nutrition can’t be ignored

Bad food choices = bad health

According to the NHS, poor diet and nutrition are recognised as major contributory risk factors for ill health and increase the likelihood of conditions such as heart disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and more.

If your people are consistently eating bad foods, it’s likely they are doing terrible damage to their health. For employers, that means increased absenteeism - something that has cost UK businesses £14 billion in recent years.

Staff productivity plummets

Food also has a direct impact on our cognitive performance and there’s evidence to prove it. Studies have found that employees with an unhealthy diet were 66% more likely to experience a loss in productivity compared to those that regularly ate nutritious food such as whole grains, fruits and veggies.

Having an unproductive workforce not only makes it impossible to get anything done, it costs businesses a hell of a lot of money. To give you an idea, research from Totaljobs found that nearly an hour and a half of every working day is spent being unproductive and is costing UK businesses an average of £4,467 per employee, every year. Ouch!

Food impacts mood

Just like the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ suggests - if your people eat bad, chances are they’re going to feel bad. And by bad, we mean fatigued, irritated, unable to concentrate and evidently more likely to experience mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Recent research has revealed that the cost to employers of poor mental health has increased to up to £56billion in 2020/21, compared to £45billion in 2019. Along with their whopping cost, mental health issues are one of the main drivers for the ‘Great Resignation’ meaning if employers aren’t careful, they could lose their talent altogether.

Are employers feeding into the issue?

We hate to say it but employers and people managers are one of the reasons why workers adopt unhealthy eating habits from:

  • Piling on the workload

Almost one third of UK workers state that unmanageable workloads have caused them to reach for unhealthy lunches

  • A lack of flexibility

Inflexible work hours are causing an average of two employees in every UK small business to regularly skip lunch.

  • Workplace stress

One in four employees are too stressed to even think about healthy eating choices.

*Stats from The 2021 Lunch & UK Workers Survey conducted by RAMONA

How to encourage healthy eating at work

Instead of adding to the problem, employers need to look at solving it. While you can’t control what your people eat, you can help workers make healthier food choices with the following simple steps:

  • Educate!

The British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating Week (13-17th June is a great place to start). Check out their healthy eating workplace pack.

  • Encourage lunch breaks

If you see a member of your team tucking in behind their screen over lunch time, call them out! Encouraging employees to take their full lunch break and eat away from their desks has been cited as a useful step in a recent survey.

  • Healthy snack-attack solutions

Ditch the vending machines or better still, fill them with healthy snacks - something that has been placed as highly important by workers that have returned to the office. Almost two-thirds of employees also believe their employer should offer fresh fruit in the workplace - and we know just the guys for that ;)

All in all, by including healthy eating initiatives as part of your overall wellbeing strategy, you’ll make a positive difference to your businesses bottom line and more importantly, help your people to live a happier, healthier life.

Would you like to win a FREE box jam-packed with healthy goodies courtesy of EatFruit? Enter our prize draw here.

Winner(s) will be announced next Monday 20th June, 2022.