This article, quoting Preoday’s Nick Hucker, originally appeared in Cost Sector Catering.
Office workers are increasingly using their desks as a dining table which, according to online and mobile pre-ordering platform Preoday, is causing problems for employers and staff that shouldn’t be ignored.
Research from healthcare group Bupa has found that up to 30% of Brits feel they are “too busy to take a proper lunch break” – a result of working in high-pressured environments that demands all of their time.
Nick Hucker, Preoday chief executive, said: “It’s not surprising eating at our desks results in a negative cycle. If people are working longer hours, they are less likely to go home and prepare a nutritious lunch for the following day.
“Instead, employees rely on caffeinated drinks to see them through the morning and then reach for unhealthy snacks later in the day.”
Obvious health implications associated with these poor eating habits range from weight gain to high blood pressure and cholesterol. Feeling that they are unable to take time away from their desks, the types of food employees eat combined with a lack of movement can all too often become a problem.
Not only does sitting down all day increase fatigue, it also reduces productivity and can often lead to muscle, joint and back problems. As well as physically, desk dining is also psychologically detrimental for employees – contributing to the £18 billion that workplace absences cost the UK last year (2017).
While stress at work is often inevitable, it can be alleviated by taking a proper break, which also prevents employees from taking their stress home with them Hucker said.
Advising employers to “provide staff a space to leave their desk and eat,” Hucker also suggests encouraging employee socialisation. Not only will it increase staff morale, but help them to produce better-quality work post-break.
Another recommendation is a staff canteen which enables employees to have a “good” meal without the need to go outside and stand in-line. With technologies such as Preoday’s allowing staff to pre-order healthy lunches, it limits the chance of them skipping lunch or eating unhealthily throughout the day, ultimately resulting in better productivity and a better quality of work.
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