How to Have An Office Pantry That Your Employees Will Love
Published August 6, 2020
Picture this: It’s the middle of the day, and you feel that familiar rumble in your belly. You walk over to the office pantry to find it barren and deprived of any form of food. That’s not quite a pleasant experience, is it? But many companies commit the mistake of focusing too much on work that they forget about the work environment.
What is the work environment?
The work environment is a general atmosphere or attitude employees keep in the workplace. This term encompasses the physical, emotional, and social environment in the workplace. Your work environment has a significant impact on how you feel about your job. It can either make you look forward to it or dread it. Whatever the case may be, it starts with how upper management creates and fosters this.
A positive work environment not only boosts worker morale but also increases overall productivity. Add these with higher employee retention, and your business could be very successful.
How does the office pantry contribute to a positive work environment?
An office pantry doesn’t have to be a place where you simply eat and have coffee. You can choose to look at your office pantry like any other room, serving its useful function. Or you can look at it as something much more than that, a space where ideas and relationships flourish.
Management theorist Chester Barnard introduced us to his idea of informal organizations. Whereas formal organizations are intentionally created, informal ones spontaneously bloom out of people’s natural tendency to associate. These organizations develop out of employees becoming friends, bonding over shared interests. Informal organizations will only reinforce formal ones by boosting cohesiveness between employees. Moreover, employees will be more likely and eager to collaborate from this.
The office pantry can be a place where these organizations form. If you create a comfortable physical environment out of it, employees will be more likely to hang out there. If you’re a boss or a manager reading this, you’ll want to join your employees regularly during meals. This will help you relate to your employees instead of appearing superior to them. Forbes mentions this as one of the simple ways you show your employees you care. The Science of Care showed that 60% of employees who felt cared for planned to stay at their company for three years or more. Compare this to the meager 7% of employees that felt their employers didn’t care. Read more about the benefits of a well-stocked office pantry here.
So, how do you have an office pantry that your employees will love?
Start with the furniture.
You’ll want to get furniture that will comfortably fit everyone. You don’t have to break the bank for these, classy chair and table sets will suffice. You could choose a circle table, which allows you to see everyone. Or you could select rectangular ones, which are generally more space-efficient.
Get the right appliances, cookware, and tableware.
These are the essential appliances you should think of getting:
- Microwave Oven
- Coffee maker
- Water dispenser (unless you prefer tap)
The less essential appliances but still ideal are:
The essential cookware pieces are:
- Chopping Board
For tableware, you can stick to the basics:
The more extensive the selection of appliances, the more welcoming your office pantry will be. Instead of going out to buy lunch, they have a very feasible option of preparing meals there instead.
The most important thing is food.
When I say this, I don’t mean buying a year’s supply of Twinkies and Oreos. While these may make you and your employees happy, they don’t exactly make for the most productive workplace.
When we work, our blood sugar levels drop, and we tend to lose concentration in our tasks. This is why we need to eat regularly. Food is the fuel our body needs to sustain itself. But not all foods are created equal, as our body processes different foods at different rates. Carbs like rice, pasta, and bread give us an almost immediate jolt of energy, followed by a drop. On the other hand, food high in fat and protein tends to digest more slowly, taking oxygen away from the brain and making us drowsy.
An interesting study showed that munching on fruits and vegetables has a positive effect on our moods. The researchers found that fruit and vegetable consumption led to higher levels of curiosity and creativity.
According to Inc., these are ten superfoods that boost productivity that you should stock in your pantry:
- Green Tea
- Dark Chocolate
- Brown Rice
Now that you know the facts, it’s time to get moving. Create that office pantry of your employees’ dreams, and have some great meals with them.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.