Sometimes even unwelcome changes can have positive effects. For many New York City break rooms, the unexpected events of 2020 have compelled employers to reexamine what and how they offer refreshments to their employees. This is not to say that traditional refreshment options in break rooms are no longer appealing to employees because they still are. It’s about understanding the changes to eating habits and other needs that the pandemic and lockdown have triggered and incorporating those.
A Healthier Diet
For many New York City employees, the constant flow of COVID-19 related news triggered an inward reflection about health and diet. Consuming food is no longer only about stopping hunger or a pleasant experience, it’s now also about food’s functional or health benefits. According to data from Tastewise, an organization that provides data about all things food related, the use of the word “’immunity’ in the context of food searches rose 27% between February 2019 and March 2020.” Searches using other words related to one’s immunity have also increased.
For example, Google searches for fruit such as mangos and berries as well as herbs and spices have substantially increased over the past year. Fruits and vegetables offer a variety of nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E that the human body can use to boost immune function. Other popular search terms include sleep-supporting, energy drinks, and plant-based. The term “plant-based” has appeared in more than just online searches. Consumers have purchased 200 percent more plant-based meat substitutes during the past year compared to the year before. Eating more plant-based foods can help with weight loss which in turn also benefits the immune system.
Break rooms have gone through many different transformations since they first appeared in workplaces. In 2020, employers have the opportunity to transform their break rooms again into spaces that support employees’ physical and mental health as well as offer sought after refreshments and café-style coffee service. In addition to the dietary considerations mentioned above, there are two less tangible things employers can focus on—creating an environment where employees feel a sense of control and are able to focus on emotional connections with their colleagues.
Because of the extreme amount of change and uncertainty that many New York City employees have had to cope with during the past several months, consistently well-stocked break rooms can provide a basic sense of control for employees. Questions such as what to eat or drink and where to find a place to purchase those items become something employees no longer need to worry about. Break rooms can also be used as a space to safely recreate a sense of community that many individuals have missed during a variety of lockdowns and work from home periods. We are here to help.
Marché is here to offer support to New York City employers during this challenging time. We can help safely transform your break room into a welcoming space that offers a variety of better-for-you and traditional refreshment options. For more information about any of our services including office coffee service, micro-markets, and vending machines, please call us at 833-627-2431.