The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Engaging Work Pantry

January 19, 2023 · Read Time: 1 Min

Designing the Perfect Office Pantry: Fostering Collaboration, Productivity, and Employee Satisfaction

An office pantry is a surprisingly easy solution that promotes a positive work culture. A well-designed space filled with great snacks and refreshing beverages quickly becomes the creative hub of your organization, where interactions and collaboration happen organically. Establishing a work culture where employees thrive — a 2019 Glassdoor study found that two-thirds of respondents cite good company culture as the reason they stay — is essential to a business’ success. A healthy work culture creates a sense of inclusiveness and belonging, which today’s workforce prizes more than at any other time in history. At the center of this are the myriad joys of food — the common denominator that connects us all — and the workplace is the perfect opportunity to showcase this. With snack boxes and snack box delivery, you can stock your office pantry with refreshments that invoke comfort and culture. When people feel valued and seen, they are more likely to feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves.

Of course, you want to take care of your people’s physical well-being, too, and an office pantry with an eye on health and wellness is a win for all. After all, a healthier workforce is a more productive workforce, and while we all could use a treat to head off that 2 p.m. slump, it’s also nice to offer healthful options to boost your team’s energy. How about a nutrient-rich smoothie or a protein bar alongside your office coffee offering? It’s all about finding good fuel to power your team through their days.

Creating a Pantry: Functional and Inviting Design Principles

It all starts with the design of the breakroom pantry, where colleagues can catch up with each other over coffee or a snack. The pantry’s design is the main draw, so its layout should flow logically. Create a coffee shop vibe — have cups and coffee accompaniments like cream, sugar and stir sticks close at hand. Make the water station prominent so people are encouraged to hydrate throughout the day. And don’t forget the tea lovers and energy drinkers! Give them plenty of options for a brain boost.

Stocking Essentials in Your Pantry: Must-Have Items for a Well-Stocked Pantry

Let’s face it: People lead busy lives, and your employees may not have the time to brown bag it. Offer up a range of healthy and crave-worthy snacks so they can focus on their work and not their hunger pangs. For that pre-lunch or afternoon break, in-season fruit, local and trendy snacks, protein bars and nuts are all good options for a well-stocked pantry, along with fresh brewed coffee and tea offerings.

Building Connections: The Role of the Pantry in Facilitating Social Interaction

We all know that food is a favorite talking point — along with the latest Netflix binge — among people. How many great ideas have been hatched at the water cooler? Just ask MIT researchers, who found that workers’ overall productivity increased by 10% to 15% when they could organically interact with colleagues, forming stronger “work tribes.” An pantry with ample choices is the perfect setting for dynamic office life and employee engagement. In fact, surveys show that engaged employees perform better, leading to job satisfaction and, ultimately, job retention. Who knew a snack is not just a snack?

Enhancing Work-Life Balance with an Pantry: Encouraging Breaks and Workday Distractions

The opposite of an engaged employee is one who is experiencing burnout. Defined as a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, burnout occurs when one feels overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. No one is immune to the phenomenon, and it can occur in your personal or professional life. A 2020 Gallup report titled “Employee Burnout: Causes and Cures” found that job burnout is actually more about how employees experience their workload than the literal number of hours they work. Give your employees a much-needed break from their day-to-day tasks with a well-stocked and laid-out pantry, where their senses can be delighted by delicious offerings, and a change in scenery.

Employee retention is another phrase we hear a lot about these days. With a decades-low unemployment rate of 3.7%, employee retention is of utmost importance, especially when you consider how costly turnover is. Does an office pantry improve retention rates? We think so, especially among the millennial and Gen Z cohort, who are more likely to be lured to a company that offers better perks, like food. A well-curated pantry with variety, surprises and trendy local products could very well be your best recruitment and retention tool.

Want to learn more about how the perfect workplace refreshments can make a difference in the lives of your employees? Read our insights report here and let InReach design a custom solution for you.

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