- Food has been ranked as one of the top amenities flexible workspaces can offer
- Providing snacks and meals can help strengthen workplace culture and community
- A recent survey found that 75% of workers with access to food in the workplace report being happy at work
The right workplace amenities can enhance the workplace experience, encouraging members to keep coming back and mingle with one another.
Last year, after speaking with workspace owners, operators, and community managers, Allwork.Space found out that food is among the top favorite workplace amenities. In Robert Kropp’s words, “putting out food is actually an excellent and very efficient way to bring people together;” which is, in fact, one of the core value propositions of shared workspaces: to foster a strong sense of community.
Food actually plays a key role in our everyday lives, and the way we consume food can contribute to our sense of wellbeing. When people eat by themselves they often eat faster, which slows down their metabolism and reduces their energy levels; it can also contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression. On the other hand, eating with others forces us to slow down and can in fact lift one’s spirits.
A recent survey by ZeroCater found that 75% of workers with access to free food in the workplace report being happy in their place of work. Additionally, 90% said that (shared) meals help them build stronger relationships with coworkers. In other words, professionals are starting to see the value of access to food at work.
Not only do these experiences help them nurture relationships and a sense of community, they also contribute to time management. When people have access to meals in their place of work, they save time by not having to leave the office to find lunch; with the added benefit that they are more likely to consume healthy meals.
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Flexible workspace providers should consider not only offering snacks and coffee/tea, but also full meals (even if these are charged they often represent some savings for workers). The food options you offer, however, should be health-conscious, as 65% of those surveyed by ZeroCater reported having access to healthy snacks as “extremely important”. Similarly, people are interested in knowing the ingredients of the food and hope food options are varied during the week.
Offering food in your shared workspace can help you strengthen your community and it can also help increase member productivity levels by keeping people energized and involved. What’s more, this type of service can also have an impact beyond your workspace walls and help local businesses.
There exists an opportunity for workspace operators to partner with restaurants and food providers from the area, providing restaurants with more visibility and having some leverage to negotiate special deals or prices.
In the end, it comes down to finding ways to add value to your members. While snacks and coffee are a given for many operators, catering a full-serviced meal a couple of times a week could be what sets you apart from your local competition and makes your workspace community and culture all the better.