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Most workplaces are stitching their employees up.
The expectation is that your work well, don’t need sick days, meet targets and be the best well-oiled machine ever paid.
These are high expectations considering a lot of workplaces either provide no food or junk food. But yes, thank you for the sausage rolls and cake for morning tea, I’ll get back to my emails now.
At the risk of sounding like I don’t appreciate treats please know that I do, especially chocolatey treats, there just seems to be a disconnect.
Improving productivity is going to be an objective in any business, this makes sense. Expecting this and encouraging the consumption of food that doesn’t support optimum energy levels does not.
If you’re working a 40 hour week and banking 7 hours of sleep a night then over 30% of your waking hours are spent at work. It’s likely you’ll have around 1-3 eating experiences per day at work and more when you count the meals and drinks outside of your paid work hours i.e. work functions, Friday night wines, travel to conferences and food choices as a result of emotions or stress.
Long story short, you eat a lot at work or, because of work.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of businesses recognise the relationship nutrition can have on productivity, mental health and even injury prevention. I also understand that food is often provided as a ‘Thank You’, which is positive. But I would also argue that eating food at a morning tea shout because it’s there or because everyone else is, probably isn’t a decision based on hunger; or even desire. And if this is the case, it would be nice to have food options available that help get you through the 3pm slump, not exacerbate it.
Instead of pastries have a quiche; veggie sticks and hummus.
Instead of cakes have some fruit; dark chocolate, bliss balls or nuts.
And if you’re trying to make lifestyle changes and you know there are usually no healthy options available, make sure you pack enough lunch and stay hydrated. This will help get you through your day.
A lot of people have the best intentions to eat well at work. And I’m sure a lot of business owners want their employees to be well. These intentions are worth being actioned on both accounts.
Employees – Treat yourself with food and company that feeds your soul, not with party pies every Wednesday during a staff meeting.
Workplaces – Stop stitching your employees up, set them up for success by providing them with foods that promote health and wellbeing, or at least provide them the choice.