Have you ever watched those Snickers commercials where someone gets angry and then they calm down after eating a Snickers bar. The tagline is, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” which applies everywhere.
Anyone who has ever worked at an office can tell you that snacks are fantastic for workplace culture. An afternoon treat can give you that extra push to power through the rest of the day, making you more productive and focused on your work. Or to make them less irritable after a long day of meetings.
But even though most people love free food, it can be difficult to get an entire workplace to agree on what snacks to eat. To make things easier, we have compiled some tips on how to have the best office snacks on hand.
Understand Your Demographic
Though it might seem like a good idea to spontaneously surprise your employees with food, you will never know if people have specific allergies, preferences, or dietary restrictions if you don’t ask.
To avoid the awkwardness of buying an entire pantry worth of beef jerky for a mostly vegetarian office, you should initially reach out to your coworkers to see what they would like to eat. You can create a snack Slack channel, email out a survey or poll with Typeform, or set up an Amazon Fresh wishlist to make sure everyone has a chance to make specific requests.
These communication systems will also give employees the space to give constructive feedback and make sure you are being inclusive of their diets.
Office snacks can be a great opportunity for coworkers to get know each other better. Each week, have a different employee bring a homemade snack to share with everyone. Whether it’s brownies or hummus, people will be thrilled to show their coworkers a different side of themselves.
It’s been proven time and time again that eating a balanced diet leads to feeling more energetic and motivated. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with having chocolate bars and gummy candy every now and then. But if that’s the only option at your office, employees will be getting sugar highs and then crashing hard (sorry Snickers).
Curate a snack program that encourages your coworkers to make healthy choices, and visit your local grocer or farmer markets to stock up on fresh produce.. Strategically make the sweets harder to find and available only on special occasions.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about having to arrange snacks, there are streamlined services that can alleviate your stress by giving you the option to customize a snack spread for your office. Often, these catering services also give employees the chance to provide feedback about the food choices.
Look through Eden’s vetted list of office food and snack caterers and receive competitive bids for a regular catering service.
Mix It Up
Once you have set up a system in place for snacks, you should switch it up on a seasonal basis to avoid being repetitive and boring. In addition to celebrating Halloween, the winter holiday season, and Valentine’s Day, check social media calendars to see if there’s a food holiday your office can partake in.
These holidays can be a lighthearted break from a busy schedule. Did you know that National Donut Day is a real thing that happens every single year?
Experiment And Take Risks
Slack channels, email chains, and Amazon wishlists can help you set up an organized system for supplying snacks. But you shouldn’t feel restricted or afraid to take the occasional risk. Order that exotic flavor of sorbet. Take a chance on that trendy potato chip brand you’ve been curious about for a while. On top of your coworkers’ requests, buy something extra and see if they like it.
Keep It Clean
When coworkers don’t remember to pick up after themselves, kitchens and shared spaces can start to get a little gross. As an office, decide what are the rules for eating and drinking. Should employees be allowed to eat at their desks or should food only be allowed in the kitchen?
Post a flyer with instructions in the eating space about how to clean up, wipe down surfaces, and avoid messes. With a few simples rules, snacks won’t have to be a nuisance for anyone.
For more tips on keeping your workplace clean, read our previous post here.