Office Catering: Why the Latest Tech Team Trend Keeps Growing
It’s pretty hard to be a tech start up these days without offering perks. The era of simply providing a salary and the necessary days off has long gone as staff seek companies offering Google-esque incentives to satiate their workplace desires.
And as companies look to outcompete each other in order to attract and retain the best staff (we’re talking trips to Ibiza, free massages, mini festivals), employees are becoming more unlikely to settle for a perk-free working environment.
So if you can’t justify hot air balloon trips on birthdays, or a jungle gym for a meeting room, what should you be offering?
Why, the biggest draw of them all: free staff food.
Because while trendy coffee in the office is cool – in fact the tech company I used to work for in Kentish Town had coffee ground specifically to its staff’s tastes – awesome office catering is cooler.
While everyone at said company loved the coffee, it was the free arancini and pizza delivered at lunch that got everyone going. Given this company is now in the top 10 best UK companies to work for – I guess they could have had something going on there!
In fact, there are many reasons why they, and so many other London startups, are jumping on the office catering bandwagon in order to please and retain their staff. Firstly, happy staff are productive staff and even on the darkest of days (we’re looking at you Monday) there is nothing like starting a workday accompanied by a mouth-watering array of freshly delivered pancakes, dripping in maple syrup and the piles of the crispiest of bacon.
It’s for good reason the term ‘hangry’ is now accepted in day-to-day conversation, so help alleviate work-afflicting bad moods at the first step with morning meetings stocked with awesome food. In terms of rewarding or incentivising your team, office catering can also be far more impactful than financial rewards, which may be good news if you’re a start up with limited budget. Countless studies show that a fulfilling work environment is far more important than money in positively impacting on employee productivity.
In fact, a recent article by Fortune outlined how for millennials, flexible work hours and personal fulfillment is far more desirable than a bigger paycheck.
So while pay raises and bonuses may seem like the logical way to incentivise your team, you should actually be looking to other avenues in order to keep them happy and working for you. And, of course, in a time where any cash bonus will simply get eaten up in rent, focusing your staff rewards on office catering ensures that it actually gets enjoyed - who’s going to turn down taking five minutes out to take down a towering pile of perfectly seasoned chicken wings?
Office catering also gives you the opportunity to show your colleagues that you have taken the time out to think about their personal preferences and tailored their perks accordingly. A $10 Boots voucher once a month says nothing, a delicious burger stuffed with all their favourite fillings and sauces aplenty says: ‘I love you Bernard, you’re the best darned coder in town.’
Companies are clocking on to the fact it’s cool to show their teams they are invested in their health and happiness - and there is nothing like feeding a team to making them feel inspired, rewarded and satisfied, which is what you want from a team really.
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