About 82 per cent of office workers believe that having complimentary snacks and beverages provided by their organization would improve their morale, according to an online survey conducted by Staples Advantage Canada.
You might think coffee is a trivial matter, or that a granola bar does not equal a happy employee.
Perhaps this is not the case. Results of the survey indicate that the quality and ambiance of a breakroom has an impact on employees' mood and motivation. They need and enjoy having a place to relax and rebuild energy.
Another online survey, this one by Staples.com in the United States, found that half the people in a typical office leave at least once a day to go on a coffee or snack run, and some reported doing this five or more times a day. That's a lot of lost productivity, and that affects the bottom line.
“Our job is to help our customers – workplaces of various sizes – give their employees everything they need for best performance,” says Ilada Boriboun, a category manager for Staples Advantage (www.staplesadvantage.ca). “We know that breakroom supplies have to be high on that list, whether it's coffee brewers, cleaners, tea, or crackers. Small investments in your breakroom will be seen as big gestures by employees.”
She says the bare bones of the breakroom include a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and eating area with comfortable seating, and that dishes, utensils, cleaning supplies and drinking water also need to be provided.
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Free coffee and tea, and healthy snacks like mixed nuts, take it up a notch. If you can't afford to provide beverages and snacks at no charge, Boriboun suggests using an honour box to collect some change.
“This is the place your employees gather to fuel up,” she says. “They do that by eating and they do that by making connections with other people. I think this is an easy one for leaders in organizations. People tell us often how important their breakrooms are.”