Office Breakfast Ideas: Build Social Bonds, Increase Satisfaction, and Ditch the Donuts

Posted by on Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 with 0 Comments

Looking for a double-whammy strategy to increase productivity and job satisfaction in your office? Consider implementing a casual, voluntary office breakfast once a week. It’s a relatively small investment with a potentially huge payoff — especially when you pay close attention to the scientific research and our resulting office breakfast ideas.

coworkers at a breakfast meeting

Socializing builds bonds and job satisfaction. Image source: flickr user Mesq

Employees who socialize together in the workplace tend to build stronger bonds. Stronger social bonds usually lead to higher job satisfaction, and we all know that job satisfaction means lower turnover. As Dr. Ben Waber, president of a workplace consulting firm, told the New York Times, “In general when we look at what makes people happy and effective at work, it’s being able to spend time with a close group of people. You need to structure work in such a way that people have those opportunities.”

So providing a scheduled hour or so for coworkers to spend time together within the workplace is a no-brainer… right?

Not exactly. One recent study showed that personal choice had a greater impact on the restorative nature of breaks at work than what the worker actually did. For instance, if a worker chose to work through lunch, they felt more relaxed at the end of the day than if they were asked to do so by a supervisor… or even if they were pressured into a social outing. Autonomy — choosing how to spend breaks — is key to employee morale.

That’s where a casual environment is key. Setting aside time once a week to let employees socialize over food can do wonders for morale and job satisfaction, but not if one of those employees feels forced to chit-chat while their growing inbox tally means they’ll be staying late into the evening. Make it clear that an office breakfast is voluntary, or you run the risk of undermining the potential benefits. We also suggest scheduling your breakfast for Friday — it’s usually the least productive day of the week already.

oatmeal toppings

A healthy breakfast can provide a sustainable source of energy at the office. Image source: flickr user 3liz4

So why breakfast? Simply put, you’ll get the biggest biological bang for your buck. There’s a reason we can all parrot that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — because it is.

Several studies over the years have shown that eating breakfast makes people more focused and attentive on the job. For instance, one British study showed that students who ate breakfast performed better on memory and concentration tasks. The impact was lessened, however, when that breakfast was a sugary one; it was highest when it was a whole-grain cereal.

woman sleeping at her desk

Avoid the mid-morning crash by choosing a menu of wholesome foods rather than sugary ones.
Image source: wynner3

Eating breakfasts that are full of sugar and highly processed carbohydrates can lead to a spike and subsequent crash of blood sugar levels, which means energy levels can plummet as well. In the office, there may be no faster way to undermine productivity than to feed everyone sugary donuts or French toast first thing in the morning. Foods that are rich in protein and fiber, however, will provide a long-lasting energy source; choose a menu that includes items like eggs, fruit, nuts, whole grain cereals, and oatmeal. Waiter.com‘s easy online ordering and company catering services will make it easy to supply a wholesome breakfast for the entire office.

A healthy meal to start the day, coupled with the boosted happiness of social bonding, and underscored by being granted the freedom to choose willingly whether to participate? Now that’s a recipe for a successful workplace!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — Waiter.com is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & deliveryWaiter.com offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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