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Food fight: Junk food vs employee wellbeing

Eating unhealthily increases the risk of unproductive time in the workplace by 66 percent. No, that’s not a misquote, you read that right. In fact, productivity losses due to health issues cost employers two to three times more than annual health care expenses.

But what’s the meaning of life if you can’t enjoy a burger with fries every once in a while, are we right?

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Well, ‘every once in a while’ is rapidly turning into ‘every other day’. We live in an age of convenience. No longer are we preparing nutritious lunches for work on Monday. Instead we’re getting food straight to our desks, and the food we order is seldom healthy.

The harsh reality: Junk food is affecting wellbeing

Researchers found that people who consumed a lot of fast food and baked goods were 37 percent more likely to become depressed over a six-year period than people with the lowest consumption. Yikes. Mental health, though, is only the tip of the iceberg. One in every four adults in the U.K. is classified as obese, for example.

There’s no arguing that obesity and depression will lead to lower productivity, a lack of focus and a demotivated state of mind (science can back this up).

For your business (let alone your employees who might be eating themselves into an unhappy state of mind), that’s bad news.

Short-term convenience vs long-term productivity

We make decisions about what to eat as little as three times a day, every single day. It requires a lot of mental capacity to choose to be healthy, and oftentimes, we don’t put that time aside.

Consequently, employees opt for convenience food over nutritional value. It’s inexpensive and efficient, meaning we can keep our bums at our desks and get more work done. But the 10 minutes saved by choosing convenience food is made up by weaker workplace performance throughout the rest of the day.

As an employer, this is cause for concern. Sure, you might have a wellbeing strategy in place (nearly half of all businesses do), but is diet front of mind? These daily micro decisions are affecting you staff, and something needs to change.

Fortunately, healthy food is becoming as convenient as a Five Guys burger (which, if you ask us, is actually quite inconvenient. There are 15 toppings to choose from… 15!).

Delivering healthy food to the workplace

Food delivery boxes are on the rise. According to Royal Mail research, the subscription box market is forecast to grow 72 percent, from £583 million in 2017 to £1 billion by 2022.

But while meal kit providers are delivering healthy recipes to your home, the workplace lacks in convenient healthy food. And we spend more time at work than at home.

At Pikt, we’re bringing healthy food to the workplace, whether it be a one-time order, or more conveniently, a month-to-month subscription package. You choose your fresh fruit, and we’ll deliver it to your office for your team to feast on (and feast they shall).

According to research from the Health Enhancement Research Organisation:

  • Employees who ate healthily all day long at work were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
  • Employees who ate five or more servings of fruit and veg at least four times a week were 20 percent more productive.
  • Those who ate healthily and regularly exercised were absent from work 27 percent less than those who didn’t.

Food affects felicity, and felicity affects productivity. Feed your employees well, and they’ll work smarter for you.

To find out more about Pikt, be sure to visit our website or continue reading out blog.

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