The aftermath of the COVID pandemic is still ongoing with many employees reluctant to return to the office on a full-time basis. Many businesses who are grappling with this same problem have found an unusual solution – that a free lunch at work matters to employees!
A free lunch tops other incentives
Many employers have found that incentives are effective tools for encouraging employees to return to the office. It even tops weekly happy hours, transport reimbursement and free gym memberships. It’s becoming clear that free lunches make employees happy and can have a transformative effect on team productivity.
Benefits of a free lunch
A free lunch at work matters to employees because it shows that their company cares about their well-being. They can relax in the lunchroom, chat with colleagues and save money on buying their lunch. With inflation rapidly rising, saving money is not a small benefit!
From an employer’s point of view, a free lunch reduces the number of people spending time outside the office. They also tend to eat faster and get back to work quickly when remaining at the office for lunch. Employees also spend more quality time with one another which encourages a team mentality and increased collaboration.
Morale rises and has a knock-on effect where even employees who generally don’t socialise much at work can be drawn into conversations and working groups. All of these benefits lead to increased employee loyalty, productivity and revenue.
Even Google recognises the attraction of free food, offering dinner to their employees that starts around 6.30 pm. This means that employees need to work late to benefit from their free dinner, so both Google and their employees benefit from this incentive.