Did you know that your healthy eating habits can be a positive influence for your co-workers? Research from the University of Birmingham reveals that people tend to make the same food choices as those around them, meaning that an office-wide commitment to better eating can create a cycle of healthy eating habits.
As office administrator, you have a huge impact on the business supply options available to your coworkers — and by extension, what they snack on in the breakroom, in meetings or at office events. Providing and promoting tasty, healthy snacks can significantly boost employees’ productivity, energy levels and moods, leading to happier teams and a more positive office atmosphere.
Try the following tactics to foster a healthier and more wholesome food environment in your workplace.
Talk It Up
A one-and-done company message about how important a nutritious diet is won’t be effective. To get that message to stick, make sure you are continually promoting the benefits of healthy eating and how your organization supports better food choices. The key here is to focus on the positive aspects of a healthier diet rather than the dangers of unhealthy foods.
Hang up posters throughout the office — especially in the kitchen and common areas — that detail the benefits of eating healthy snacks and meals. Send out encouraging emails when you come across a new piece of research on healthy eating or when a new wholesome option is available in the breakroom. For employees who are interested in attending, host healthy eating meetings to further boost your efforts.
Offer Plenty of Healthy Snacks
Whether they’re for last-minute cravings, mid-afternoon energy boosts, client meetings, or internal gatherings, have plenty of healthy snack foods available. Be sure to ask your co-workers about food allergies or restrictions before placing any food orders.
For meetings that include lunch, focus on nourishing choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, lean meats and whole grains. If you normally have a candy jar in the lobby, replace the sugar with pretzels, almonds or sugar-free options. Keep the breakroom stocked with a variety of healthy snacks so that all team members can find an option. Provide olive oil, spices and seasonings to support the preparation of healthy food in the office kitchen.
As you retool, make sure the new options are tasty. If what you provide is unappealing, your co-workers will be less likely to change their habits. Look for foods that are both nutritious and delicious, including cheese, hummus, yogurt, fruit, nuts and flavored seltzer water, to name a few. You can sign up for a grocery delivery service to ensure you easily keep up with office needs.
Host Healthy Eating Events
Further bolster your message and food options by creating events centered on healthy eating. These gatherings can be something as simple as encouraging team members to eat lunch together after grabbing healthy takeout or to take snack breaks with colleagues.
Host a potluck lunch by asking everyone to bring their favorite healthy tasty dish to share. Co-workers can even swap recipes to further reinforce their burgeoning healthy habits. Hold a cooking demonstration in the office kitchen where you or a local chef show how to whip up healthy meals with available appliances, or share ideas for nutritious brown-bag lunches.
Make It a Challenge
Providing a sense of accountability can help further boost healthy eating. A voluntary “better diet challenge” can add a fun element to your co-workers’ efforts. A fitness app or even pen and paper can help team members track their meals. You can award points and determine milestones for participants to earn prizes and incentives.
For example, offer a gift certificate to a local clothing store or a pass for trying out local fitness classes. Just make sure to check with your human resources team to remain compliant with company rules and employment laws.
When coupled with better stress management tactics, a healthy eating initiative can create a multitude of benefits. While you can’t control individual stress levels, you can encourage certain activities, such as walking and stretch breaks, as well as listening to relaxing music, to further bolster your efforts to create a healthier office environment.