It’s no secret that America has health issues. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly a quarter of Colorado workers are obese. Although Colorado is routinely cited as one of the “leanest” states in the country, its current obesity rate would have made it the “fattest” state in 1995. That’s pretty bad, but what does this have to do with fruit at work?
The average American spends one third of their lives in the workplace, and regularly snacks while doing so. That’s a lot of snacks! Unfortunately, many of these snacks aren’t nutritious options. In 2012, Pinnacol Assurance researchers conducted a study on over 2,400 workers from 121 small businesses and found that participating employers saved an estimated $2.03 for every $1 they invested in Health Risk Management programs. We realized that providing healthy snacking options would not only improve employee wellness, but also an organization’s bottom line.
Take Google, for example. According to Dr. Brian Wansink’s Slim By Design, when Google decided to offer free food to their employees, they did it BIG, causing a trend among other big companies to start using food perks as a competitive advantage. We’re talking dozens of rooms filled with all the snacks, drinks, coffee and FRUIT you can imagine. Googlers are allowed to consume all the snacks they desire, whenever they’d like — they just can’t take them home! Even the management isn’t shy about showing why food at work is working so well for them:
- It’s a recruiting and retention perk
- It’s a cultural tactic to keep supercharged software engineers on-site
- It encourages good “accidental conversations” with other Googlers (which is what is rumored to have invented Gmail… you’re welcome!)
- It reduces bad “accidental conversations” — those involving trade secrets — with neighborhood competitors
With that, we will leave you with one of our most treasured quotes from Dr. Thomas Perry:
“When employers understand that organizational factors influence not only the health of their workers, but also their performance and contribution to the company, they can take steps to improve the lives of their workers and their bottom lines at the same time.”