xplores the prominent issue of staff wellbeing in the workplace help to make a positive impact in this area.

Calm in a hectic environment Another positive aspect of an in-house catering facility is that it can provide a space that employees can retreat to quickly and easily. Many working in high pressure jobs find it hard to leave their desks at the best of times, let alone leave the building to have a bite to eat, but by providing a flexible space in the immediate vicinity it is far more likely they will make use of it.

“An in-house catering facility can

provide that oasis of calm or change of scenery if the design has been considered effectively.”

Increasingly at board room level, senior executives now recognise that attracting talented employees means taking care of their mental wellbeing, nutritional and physical health and that productivity and job satisfaction are dependent on these. The office design, therefore, also has to allow for flexible working environments and hours.

Our own experience at Blue Apple has shown that opportunities to effect positive change exist in even the most obvious of places. For example, in taking over a site recently it became clear that staff were missing out on breakfast before they started their working day as the previous operator had assumed that the entire workforce commenced its day at 9am. However, the teams were often working flexible hours and upon arrival after 10am found that no food or beverage options were available to them outside of vending machines (which often provided little more than crisps and chocolate bars).

Something as simple as adapting opening hours therefore had a positive impact on productivity, as those staff members were able to purchase fresh, wholesome meals or snacks at a time that was convenient to their own working schedules. In addition, the fact that staff were aware that their employers had considered this fact and adapted accordingly to accommodate had a positive impact on morale.

Employees, and especially millennials, who have a different set of values and beliefs, are and will be demanding a healthier working environment, which includes a high-quality food service offer as a given. They want a dining environment not only for food and drink - they want the flexibility to work there as well. They want to eat when they’re hungry and not necessarily at “lunchtime” and to be given the flexibility to be ‘unchained’ from their desks from time to time.

An in-house catering facility can provide that oasis of calm or change of scenery if the design has been considered effectively - creating a space that can not only be used for breakfast lunch and dinner, but also as a meeting space, a conference area or simply as a place to grab 10 minutes away from a screen with a coffee.

Leave the balancing act to the professionals Businesses looking to take care of the wellbeing of their workforces are rarely experts in the fields of health and nutrition, and creating a food service offering that caters to all is a balancing act that carries considerable responsibility. By engaging with a specialist contract caterer – preferably one with experience across a wide range of organisations and industries – that responsibility can be removed from a business and placed in the hands of professionals. TOMORROW’S FM | 27

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