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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Want Happier Employees? Feed Them

Sometimes making your employees happy can be as simple as arranging for bagels in the morning or sandwiches at lunch.
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You can do a lot of really complicated and/or expensive things to boost morale... or you can just buy your employees lunch. Really.

Seamless, a company which, admittedly, specializes in making it possible for your company to order lunch, has a new survey out that demonstrates that the way to an employee's heart is through the stomach.

While 78 percent of employees reported providing food for meetings with clients, companies aren't providing that same level of service for their internal meetings. And while it's extremely important to keep clients, it's also important to keep (and attract) good employees.

  • 60 percent of the 1100 people surveyed said that having food at the office would make them feel more "valued and appreciated."
  • 45 percent said that the availability of free lunch would strongly influence their decision to accept a job offer.
  • 60 percent felt that company offered meals would encourage them to eat with their colleagues, which could mean you'll actually get more work out of your employees, since business can be discussed over work. (And as a little legal reminder, if business is being discussed over work, it counts as working time for your non-exempt employees and you have to pay them.)
  • 41 percent felt that the best corporate gift was food.
  • 40 percent said that having food in the office would reduce stress.

Here are some additional fun facts from Seamless  about eating in the workplace:

  • Who orders the most Chinese? = Law /Accounting
  • Who orders the most deli? = Finance
  • Who orders from diners the most? = Agencies
  • Who orders the most Sushi/Japanese? = Law /Accounting
  • Who orders the most Mexican? = Media
  • Who orders the most Pizza? = Agencies
  • Who orders the most Bar Food/ Burgers? = Media
  • Who orders the most Thai / Vietnamese? = Media
  • Who orders the most vegetarian?  = Tech/Media

Who eats the healthiest?

  • Across the board, Boston creative agencies are the healthiest industry in the nation, with 98 percent of all orders being healthier options.
  • Chicago's creative agencies order the least healthy options in the creative industry with 43 percent, making them the unhealthiest creatives in the nation.
  • D.C. techies are the healthiest within the tech industry across the nation, ordering 56% healthy food options compared to Chicago techies with 55 percent, New York techies with 44 percent, Boston techies with 42 percent and San Francisco techies with 30 percent and L.A. techies with 15 percent.
  • Boston, New York and Chicago consulting firms are the healthiest in their industry with nearly 50 percent of their total orders as healthy options (49 percent, 46 percent and 45 percent respectively).
  • Boston and New York financial companies are the healthiest in their industry with more than half of their food orders as healthy options.
  • Lawyers in Boston lead the way for the law industry with 61 percent healthy orders, followed by New York with 48 percent, San Francisco with 44 percent, D.C. with 32 percent, Chicago with 20 percent and L.A. with 24 percent.
IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Feb 27, 2013

SUZANNE LUCAS | Columnist

Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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