As the kitchen has always been the heart of the house, it is also the core of modern office spaces. The pantry has been one of the often ignored aspects of the workplace but has a huge contribution when it comes to boosting your employees’ morale, encouraging collaboration and impressing your clients. A study has shown that 57% of full time working professionals buy snacks and beverages during office hours. As employees feel hungry, their blood sugar level decreases thus reducing attention span and concentration.
Having those mid-afternoon cravings and coming out of the pantry empty handed will make the employees feel annoyed and disappointed. An under stocked pantry will not only have inescapable effects but will also cause personal discomfort for employees. A healthy well-stocked office pantry is where your employees will gain their maximum nutrition, which is important to let them focus well on the work in hand.
A company promoting innovation and creativity cannot achieve it in those cubicles which sap employees’ energy. A workspace with enough options to satisfy your hunger pangs will inspire your employees to achieve creative breakthroughs. Corporate giants like Adidas are now increasingly moving towards theme based cafeteria to make the concept of healthy eating at work more interesting. Here is an image of the Adidas’ Gurgaon office cafeteria:
Here are some of the reasons why offices should have pantry spaces for employees:
To Keep Your Employees Happy:
When office spaces are designed keeping the health and well being of the employees as a center, it boosts employees happiness. A well-equipped pantry develops a perception of an inclusive work culture as its a sign of company’s concern for employees’ welfare. Also, it is considered as one of the ways to appreciate the hard work that employees put in. An office pantry is one of the first steps towards “Supportive Management” where both the managers and employees work towards fulfilling each other’s targets and create a positive reputation of the company culture.
To Sustain Employees’ Energy:
In the challenging work environment, there is always the need to munch up on something as soon as you feel low. The cycle of snacking and getting tired repeats itself after every few hours.
Cravings can cause plunges in energy level as well as sleepiness leading to digestion of unhealthy fats. Providing sugar substitutes like fruits is one of the ways to sustain your employees’ energy. Healthy substitute help employees stay alert and energized for the longer duration, thus helping them spend more hours at work without the need for frequent breaks.
To Promote Healthy Lifestyle Among Office Employees:
You can inculcate the habit of a healthy lifestyle among your employees by providing them with healthy options to munch on. This is one of the easiest ways you to create awareness about healthy eating. Seeing their colleagues following a healthy lifestyle, employees will be motivated to do the same. Powerful brain foods like nuts and fruits contain high quantity of Vitamin C and healthy fats. They improve cognitive abilities. Employers will thus have the power to influence the lifestyle their employees are leading.
To Encourage Conversations:
The common pantry area will develop healthy relationships among your employees. Having a strong connected team working under you can do wonders for your business growth. Addressing your employees desires and preferences is one of the ways to get higher outputs. These common office canteen areas will also encourage inter departmental conversations and are even an ice breaking ground for new comers.
There are some essentials apart from water dispensers and coolers which must be stocked within these pantry spaces, which include the following:
Having a microwave oven will motivate your employees to bring home packed lunch which is another way to follow a healthy lifestyle. When employees will get the facility to eat fresh and hot food within the office, it will be pleasing for them to get their lunch packed. Also, there must be provision for microwave-safe containers so that any mishap within the pantry could be avoided. Also, the microwave could help to consume the leftover food later, thus reducing food wastage. Another added advantage that these ovens will provide will be to organise cooking competitions like potluck. You can even encourage your employees to pursue cooking as a hobby after their office hours or during breaks.
Non Perishable Snacks:
Cookies, wafers, snack bars are some of the preferred options for long-lasting snacks to satisfy hunger and are an ideal option for something to accompany with beverages. Especially for the employees of the night shift, these small munching snacks will help them stay awake and alert through their office hours. Also, ready to use meal which will just require adding hot water are a great option.
When it comes to helping your brain stay focused, caffeine intake is one of the most preferred options. Having a high-quality tea/coffee machine will be an easy source of caffeine. Also, you can have provision for an electric kettle in office pantry. This would help employees have access to caffeine as and when required without having the need to of ordering from the cafe.
Ensure that you have ample of disposable crockery so that employees will not have to search here and there for empty containers. Having paper plates, plastic spoons and cups will prove to be handy not only for regular use but also during celebrations held at offices. In case you wish to offer a healthy alternative for your employees, you can use edible crockery. Once they eat with it, they can eat it! Edible cutlery will be made with healthy grains like millets, rice, and more. Also they have an advantage of having shelf life of nearly three years.
Having provision for refrigerator is sometimes what makes your office employees happier. Chilled juices and energy drinks should be available for easy access. Also, fruits must be stored as a healthy substitute for junk cravings. One of the greatest advantage it will provide for the employees will be during summers. They will have option to store packed meals for longer consumption and their choice of juices and fruits.
To get some ideas for how to design small pantry areas for your office, watch the video:
(Video Credits: Feeling Home)
For the trending coworking spaces, having an office pantry comes as a necessity. Higher number of occupants will be attracted towards an organised pantry service. Having access to number of snacking options while working is another added benefit you can provide for your coworkers. This will give them a feeling of working in a highly professional environment.
Lastly, when it comes to disposing your pantry waste, it is important your employees must be well informed about recyclable and non recyclable waste. Ensure keeping separate dustbins for liquid and solid wastes.
Your office pantry is the mirror of your work culture. Even a small pantry will offer a sense of informal gathering and community for the employees working under you. A well stocked pantry with healthy snacking options help your employees never to compromise with their mental abilities hence helping them excel at work they do. Therefore investing in a functional office pantry is a must for companies!