A French person spends on average 15% of his life at work, it is therefore crucial to optimize this time spent by complementary services promoting the well-being of employees.
A French person spends an average of 99,117 hours at work during his life, ie 15% of his life, so it is crucial to optimize this time spent by complementary services promoting the well-being of employees. Several studies have also shown that certain services such as company catering are decisive factors for the well-being of employees. Too often relegated to the background, access to healthy food is nevertheless an issue that is just as central both to retaining employees and to developing motivation and productivity at work.
For more than 40 years, eating habits have continued to evolve. Lunch breaks of 1h38 on average in 1975(1) were reduced to 29 minutes in 2017 to finally increase again and reach 50 minutes in 2021(2). This drastic reduction in the duration of the lunch break is explained by a lack of time, the search for practicality or even a desire to eat for less. Thus, over the years, employees have opted for quick, inexpensive meals and have gotten into the habit of having lunch in front of their screen, especially for workers in the tertiary sector. Although this has become a standard, it is not without risk for the health and well-being of employees.
It’s high time to relearn how to eat at work!
Indeed, this routine which had then gradually interfered in the daily lives of employees can have very negative long-term effects – namely a short break, in front of your screen without taking the time to enjoy a balanced meal. and “disconnecting”, can considerably affect team productivity, reduce concentration, go so far as to amplify fatigue and stress, and have a serious impact on the health of employees. When a brain is not properly nourished, its cognitive abilities are diminished. Poor nutrition at work can, in the long term, have very negative effects on the team’s state of mind and motivation. These effects can manifest as irritability, depression, anxiety, decreased concentration and creativity. As a result, poor eating habits can cause negative pathologies that harm the health of employees, and lead, in extreme cases, to repeated absences for medical reasons.
Conversely, a healthy diet has a positive influence on the brain. Reduced risk of stress, depression, increased alertness, concentration, creativity, or efficiency. A Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research study identified that certain foods, sources of vitamins C, D and E, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids and polyphenols, are highly beneficial for memory stimulation(3 ). She also claims that certain fresh ingredients are effective in reducing stress and anxiety, so why not add them to employees’ meals? These warning signs must be taken seriously by employers who must then prevent these risks by setting up a healthy and balanced catering service.
Employers definitely have a card to play to provide the well-being necessary for a good quality of life at work. Beyond the undeniable impact on health, healthy eating at work is synonymous with well-being and therefore profitability for the company! Indeed, a good diet improves the general atmosphere, employees are more dynamic, more efficient in their roles because healthy foods stimulate the brain, which maximizes professional performance and provides a feeling of well-being!
Put together, these elements prevent absenteeism, accidents at work, reduce health costs and increase productivity, as a Dutch CBRE study indicates, stating that a good diet at work, balanced, not too fatty, sweet or savory, would promote productivity by 20%(4). Risk prevention and improving the quality of life at work are therefore major challenges, including healthy eating. Today, 74% of employees want to eat fresh or homemade products and 68% of employees want local and seasonal products(5), proof that a revolution in favor of well-being at work and better eating tends to operate in business. More than a daily need, the lunch break is a real vector of well-being and conviviality in the face of which companies can no longer put on blinders and have everything to gain by offering a catering solution adapted to the needs of their workforce and thus increasing motivation, productivity, and effectively federating their teams. Moreover, according to this same CBRE study, 66% of those questioned felt happier and 78% had the impression of having more energy at work. Federate by bringing good food to work? It’s high time to think about it!
1 According to an INPES barometer published in 2008 concerning the average length of the lunch break for French people
2 According to a study conducted in 2021 by CHD Expert for the Sandwich & Snack Show
3 According to a 2015 study by Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research: Role of physical activity and diet on mood, behavior, and cognition
4 CBRE Research Netherlands study: The snowball effect of healthy offices (Het Sneeuwbaleffect van healthy offices) from 2017
5 Yougov study on behalf of Fraîche Cancan conducted in 2021 on the food ambitions of the French in the face of the health crisis