7 Workplace Kitchen Supplies Proven to Boost Employee Happiness and Productivity
It’s official: a fully stocked kitchen increases productivity and boosts morale. According to Staples 2016 Workplace Index, three in four employees view the workplace kitchen as more than just a place to get coffee – it represents a place for impromptu meetings, a space to help keep energy levels high and enjoy a well-earned break. Do your workplace kitchen supplies cater for all these purposes?
As organisations of all sizes recognise the importance of employee engagement and wellbeing, the kitchen has been transformed from a dingy room where the microwave rules and teaspoons are like gold dust to a space that inspires engagement, collaboration and motivation. In fact, a recent survey by Gallup showed that companies with the most engaged employees showed improvements of 20 – 48% in productivity, customer ratings, absenteeism, safety incidents and profitability.
Granted, not all workplaces have the luxury of a coffee machine, breakfast treats and on-trend beverages, but little additions can go a long way to boosting your employees’ productivity and happiness in the workplace.
Here are seven workplace kitchen supplies to stock up on:
Australians love their coffee, and they’ll leave the workplace to get it if they have to. Consider that it takes one employee at least 20 minutes to leave the workplace to get a coffee. Multiply this by the number of workdays in a year. That’s around 80 hours of lost productivity per employee, per year. Now consider how many employees drink coffee – that’s potentially hundreds or thousands of hours the organisation could save by adding a coffee machine to its workplace kitchen. Another consideration is the average salary being $50 per hour per employee means employees going for coffee is costing businesses around $4k per employee, per annum in addition.For many employees, free coffee tops the list of workplace perks. While investing in a coffee machine is the most cost effective way to maintain employee productivity and satisfaction, stocking your workplace kitchen supplies with good quality coffee, milk, sugar and stirrers will also satisfy your caffeine-loving workers as a minimum. Stirrers are also a great alternative to spoons and can help businesses meet their sustainability goals.
- Beverage choices
Not everybody drinks coffee, which is why it may be worthwhile topping up workplace kitchen supplies with a selection of beverages. Consider hot chocolate, flavoured water, and energy drinks. And when it comes to a cuppa, our recent blog on the latest tea trends shows employees are looking beyond standard black tea to fruit, herbal and green tea varieties.
Reward those employees who choose to bring their own lunches by including condiments in your workplace kitchen supplies. After all, these employees are more likely to return to their work on time, as they are not venturing out for lunch. By stocking your kitchen with basic spices and seasonings, such as salt and pepper, tomato sauce, honey, mustard, and soy sauce, you can encourage them to keep their good habits.
- Hot and cold water dispenser
Staying hydrated is imperative for any Australian worker. Even slight dehydration can lead to negative, work-related side effects. Research shows that a mere 1% decrease in your hydration level can reduce the amount of work produced by up to 20%. Providing a cold-water dispenser makes it easy for employees to stay hydrated at work. Include a boiling water tap and you can also improve productivity, as workers won’t need to wait for the kettle to boil every time they want a tea or coffee.
- Kitchen appliances and equipment
Every employee knows how frustrating it is to bring all the elements of a great lunch, only to find that the workplace kitchen doesn’t include cutlery, plates or appliances to prepare it. Today’s employees expect to find basic kitchen appliances and equipment as a minimum. This means a refrigerator, microwave, toaster, cookware and utensils should form part of your kitchen supplies to ensure employees can easily enjoy their lunch and a break away from their desk.
Convenience is king, and when a workday morning rolls around, breakfast is no exception. That’s why on-the-go, instant breakfasts are the hottest trend in Australia and globally. Read our instant breakfast trends blog post to learn how breakfast bars and “natural” cereals (such as gluten free, non-GMO and no sugar products) are on the rise. But ultimately, ensuring workplace kitchen supplies are stocked up with a range of healthy breakfast options will support your employees’ busy schedules while meeting workplace health and safety (WHS) goals.
With health and wellbeing being directly linked to productivity, workplaces are realising the value of offering healthy snack options for employees. A substantial 85% of survey respondents in the US said they’d want to see healthy snacks and beverages added to their workplace kitchen supplies. This is no surprise given how many people are now choosing snacks over large meals during the day. Consider snacks like muesli bars, trail mix and fresh fruit, which are not only a healthier alternative to chips and chocolate but are also ideal for people eating on the go or employees working longer hours.
Even the smallest additions to the kitchen can make a huge difference to morale, productivity and happiness in the workplace, which is the key to attracting and retaining great talent. Whether you need to stock your kitchen, your boardroom or have occasional catering needs, or all of the above, Staples makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to keep workplace kitchen supplies well stocked.