As part of an overall healthy work environment, food offerings can help

We all love free food, but one group of workers respond especially well to this benefit.  Millennials, who will make up 46 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020, particularly appreciate snacks and other food perks at work. In one survey, about half of millennials said they could be lured to a new job by a company that offered better perks, including free snacks.

One thing’s clear: Food and drinks perks won’t mask an otherwise toxic work culture. Employees of all ages care about receiving a healthy compensation and benefits package, having career-advancement opportunities, receiving feedback about job performance, being heard, and having a healthy work-life balance. Food perks may even backfire if employees perceive them as a way to coax employees into skipping breaks or working exhausting hours. However, when a culture is otherwise positive and inclusive, free food can be a powerful way to elevate a company’s culture.

In one survey, 67 percent of employees who work in offices that provide complimentary food said they were very happy at work. That’s 12 percent higher than the percentage of all employees who said they were happy at work, according to the most recent BI Worldwide survey.

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