Free lunch seen to improve office return rates
Have you ever decided to skip lunch for work? Or decided to eat while you're in the middle of a meeting? If so, you're not alone.
In a survey among 5,000 employees, corporate food solutions provider ezCater found that 48% of the respondents confessed to skipping lunch at least once a week.
Among them, 62% said they had to use that time for another purpose.
Three in five of the respondents also admitted to "meeting and eating" while on video calls - despite a majority of them thinking this is bad etiquette.
Eating lunch improves performance
These bad habits come as employees continue to receive more workloads in the wake of widespread layoffs across organisations.
Diane Swint, chief revenue officer at ezCater, said it is up to employers to encourage staff to take lunch.
"It's in employers' best interest to encourage their employees to take a lunch break, and what better way to do that than by making the food appear? When you look at the cost of employee turnover and the cost to fund lunch everyday, the ROI is clear," Swint said in a statement.
According to ezCater's findings, 78% of the respondents said eating lunch improves their job performance, where 53% said it gave them more mental clarity.
"Our data shows that lunch breaks improve job performance and reduce burnout," Swint said.
Impact on office return
Not only does lunch affect productivity, but it can also encourage employees to return to the office.
According to the report, 67% of hybrid workers said free lunch would impact their decision to work onsite.
Among age groups, Gen Zs are most likely to consider free food as a major consideration for returning onsite, with 83% citing it as a motivator.
The findings come as employers continue with their global push to get employees back onsite despite resistance - using perks such as free food and training to encourage office comebacks.