If You Feed Them, They Will Work

They say an army travels on its stomach and so do your employees, apparently.

A well-stocked kitchen, a fresh pot of coffee and a stack of paper plates could be more effective in motivating workers and increasing productivity than the best laid plans by human resources.

That’s the finding of a new study from Staples Advantage, which found that 73 percent of employees said a well-stocked kitchen would make them happier at work and 57 percent indicated that kitchen amenities could lead to a more productive work force.

“Making small investments in the company kitchen can lead to significant benefits in any workplace,” said Lisa Hamblet, vice president for the facility solutions and services business of Staples Advantage, which, it should be noted, sells office kitchen supplies. “Our recent survey found that 72 percent viewed the office kitchen as more than just a place to get coffee. To them, it represents a place for impromptu meetings, as well as a space to help keep energy levels high. This provides an opportunity for employers to create a workplace kitchen that boosts their work force’s productivity and camaraderie.”

Nearly 80 percent of respondents said it was important to get away from their desks from time to time to take small breaks in order to stay focused. Many workers hope to find snacks, paper goods and cutlery in their office kitchen that they can use throughout the day.

“Although our survey found people are stepping out from time to time, overall, employees are working longer hours . With staff spending more time in the office, employers should consider making it a more comfortable environment,” Hamblet said. “Our survey suggests that simple and easy improvements can make all the difference from an okay day to a great day at the office .”