AS WAYS OF WORKING EVOLVE, SO DO OUR FOOD HABITS.
In this new era of flexible schedules, remote work and video calls, with the structure of the office evolving towards flexible space and hot-desking, and with the rise of freelancing and multi-employment, traditional working habits live a radical transformation. Tomorrow, there will be as many ways to work as there are employees.
As companies are looking for ways to adapt to these evolving behaviors, while maintaining employee engagement, performance and well-being, food emerges as a strategic pillar of company culture.
Let’s look at how the changing work life disrupts the eating habits of employees around the world. And let’s explore ways for employers to rethink their meal experience.
Redaction of 4 articles and 5 newsletters for the media Mieux on this subject.
ARTICLE 01 / THE LUNCH BREAK: AN ENDANGERED HABIT?
35 minutes. That’s the average time employees around the world dedicate to lunch breaks. Whether 46m in Japan or 19m in Greece, lunch breaks are still widely considered as a way for employees to feel refreshed and ready to get back to work.
Yet modern work life, with its aggressive and constantly evolving pace, is shaking lunch break as we know it: on average, employees in France dedicate one hour less to lunch than they did in 1975, and only 35% of Americans say they almost always take a lunch break.
On the other hand, the appetite for power naps, lunch activity or simple office wandering is growing, and employers are adapting their offer to fit with an increasingly destructured work rhythm. The traditional lunch hour might be on the way out, but its giving way to more flexible, more personalized ways to get the required rest, energy and social encounters needed to carry daily professional tasks.
ARTICLE 02 / TOWARDS SEAMLESS MEAL EXPERIENCES
In a very near future, there will be as many ways to work as there are employees.
With people being used to manage personal-life on their mobiles from the tip of their fingers, it’s only natural that they’d wish to avoid friction and time-loss in their working environment. When it comes to food in the workplace, the increase in personal working routines poses a serious threat to traditional corporate meal offerings.
Companies are looking for ways to offer frictionless, hyper-personalised meal experiences to every one of their employees: from food ordering to delivery options, they are looking for customizable solutions such as geolocalized apps or diet-compatible meals.
Let’s look at how employees are pushing companies to keep pace with their work-life rhythm, and let’s explore the various solutions that employers can start implementing to create a seamless meal experience.
ARTICLE 03/ FOOD IS THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL NETWORK
It’s become obvious that companies are no longer places people just work at. They are places where people live, connect and share experiences with one another. And a happy employee is a more productive employee - 43% more productive to be exact.
That’s why employers are seeking innovative ways to trigger conversations, facilitate interactions, and nurture authentic experiences. And guess what gets people together? Food, obviously!
Office kitchens, canteens, coffee bars or salad stands are the new conference rooms. Designed to make people “bump” into one another, these spaces can support unstructured social time, encourage colleagues on different teams to meet, and overall increase the number of serendipitous interactions.
Let’s explore how employers harness the power of food to create informal exchanges, make ideas collide, and eventually create a better sense of belonging among their teams.
ARTICLE 04 / PUTTING FOOD AT THE HEART OF COMPANY CULTURE
Company culture becomes increasingly important when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. That’s why employers are trying to play a larger role in their workers daily lives, starting with their health.
They want to ensure that the hours spent by their employees, whether remotely or on premise, lead to healthy choices, especially when it comes to food. And with 93% of consumers trying to maintain a healthy diet on a regular basis, companies have no other choice but to abide: educating employees, providing them with better food options, standing for healthy and durable diets, are on most employers to-do list.
The food a company offers reflects on its values. Don’t we say “you are what you eat”? With this in mind, let’s examine how better meal experience can shape more engaging, nurturing and inspiring company cultures.