Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Workplace Pantry: Boosting Productivity and Morale

Many offices around the U.S. have created office pantries as a benefit for employees, while others have not yet embraced this new trend. Research has shown that an office pantry offers many advantages in addition to providing snacks and drinks for employees; in fact, several studies have shown that office pantries improve employee productivity, increase employee morale, and foster a feeling of inclusivity.

Office Pantries

Office pantries are communal areas where employees can gather to relax and take a break from work. Well-equipped office pantries offer complimentary coffee, drinks, snacks, a microwave, refrigerator, and other items of convenience. They cut down on the need for employees to leave the office to grab a coffee or snack and can offer healthier options than some traditional vending machines.

Fostering Positive Workplace Culture
According to a survey by the Australian Institute of Business, 73 percent of respondents said a full pantry would make them feel happier at work, and 57 percent thought it would boost employee morale. The office pantry serves as the center of the office community and can foster relationship building, bonding, and collaboration. These positive benefits can lead to employees feeling an increased sense of personal belonging to the company.

Additionally, according to Staples Business Advantage, 53 percent of office employees think that a well-stocked pantry contributed to their perception of an inclusive office culture. Employees felt the office pantry demonstrated that the company cared about their welfare and valued their work. According to Inc. Magazine, 60 percent of working professionals mentioned that having free snacks in the office makes them feel “valued and appreciated.”

Increased Employee Productivity
Studies have shown that providing a well-stocked pantry improves employee productivity. It ensures that workers are kept well-fed, refreshed, and satisfied. After all, hungry employees will not perform at their best. In a study, 57 percent of working professionals stated that they buy their own snacks and beverages at work, and one in two employees reported leaving the office to get coffee or a snack at least once per day and sometimes up to five times per day.

When employees had access to nutritious snacks close by in a central office pantry, it helped make them more productive and better focused on work—cutting down on trips to nearby coffee shops or convenience stores to get snacks or coffee. Additionally, by having a convenient place to grab a snack or heat up a lunch brought from home, employees may not need extended lunch breaks, thus allowing for more flexible work schedules.

Stocking An Office Pantry
Setting up an office pantry is fairly simple. Most offices already have some sort of kitchen area that you can add to, or you can designate another area as the office pantry. Offering a couple of small tables and chairs where employees can sit and relax on breaks is also a plus.

There are a few things every office pantry needs:

  • A source of caffeine – Offer a coffee maker and kettle for tea as well as providing complimentary coffee, a selection of teas, milk or creamer, sugar, and packets of artificial sweeteners.
  • Snacks – Offer a variety of non-perishable, healthy snacks such as fruit or dried fruit, packets of nuts, crackers, granola bars, and pretzels. Individually packaged items work best.
  • Drinks – A well-stocked fridge is also a nice addition for employees to have access to soft drinks, juices, bottled water, and energy drinks.
  • Microwave – Providing a microwave is helpful for employees who prefer to bring lunch from home; they can quickly heat it up and eat at their desks.
  • Supplies – Be sure to provide and regularly restock items such as napkins, paper plates, plastic cutlery, and paper cups.

If you’re interested in adding an office pantry to your business, we have helped many companies do this and would love to help you get started!

Foods to Boost Metabolism

Our metabolism, or the rate at which our bodies burn calories, is largely determined by age, height, and genes. However, there are a few ways to increase your body’s energy use and boost metabolism. One way is through exercise, and the other way is through eating the right food.

Foods that boost metabolism

While eating certain foods can speed up or slow down your metabolism and will effect weight loss, it’s actually much more complex than a simple “eat this food to boost your metabolism and lose weight.”

For weight loss and weight maintenance, the amount of food we eat also matters. Eating a well-balanced meal that is high in protein, fiber, and good fats will make you feel fuller and will be more satisfying so that you are less likely to overeat at the next meal. On the other hand, if you do not eat enough calories, your body will use your muscles for energy, resulting in a loss of muscle mass and a sluggish metabolism.

There is no one miracle food that can have such a profound effect on metabolism that it would cause you to lose weight. But there are certain foods that may help increase your metabolism, as well as other foods that you should only eat in moderation or eliminate altogether.

Here are five foods that help boost your metabolism.

1. Avocados – Avocados are  high in both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that can help promote satiety. They can also help reduce inflammation in the body. If you are trying to lose weight, just be careful of portion sizes and stick with eating only one-fourth to half an avocado.

2. Chili peppers – Spicy foods like chili peppers can help rev up your metabolism. Chili peppers in particular contain capsaicin, which experts have found can speed up metabolism.

3. Beans – Beans are a great source of protein and contain lots of fiber that helps to keep you full.

4. Whole grains – Replacing white flour products with whole grains that contain lots of fiber will keep you full longer, and according to a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating whole grains may create a “modest increase” in resting metabolic rate.

5. Eggs – Eggs are high in protein, low in calories, and fill you up. They’re also a good source of B vitamins, which have been shown to increase metabolism.

Working these foods into a well-balanced, healthy daily diet along with a regular exercise program can help boost your metabolism. At the same time, there are certain foods you should avoid that can slow down your metabolism. These include refined grains like those found in processed, packaged foods, sugary drinks such as fruit juice, energy drinks, soft drinks, and alcohol, as well as granola and soybean oil.

Sleep Quantity and Quality Is Important to Your Health

Sleep is essential to overall health, but it’s usually one of the first things to suffer when people are under stress or pressed for time. Sleep often falls low on people’s list of priorities behind work, family obligations, chores, socializing, and entertainment. But skimping on sleep can have a big impact on long-term health and can negatively affect your mental clarity and emotional health in the short run.

Sleeping Woman

 

Ways to Work Out While You’re Stuck at Home

With most of the country under shelter-in-place orders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people are struggling to find ways to exercise and stay active during these challenging times. Gyms are closed, competitive sports have been postponed, and group exercise classes are canceled, so what can you do to still stay in shape?

Woman and kid exercising

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to keep moving and exercising while stuck at home, you just have to be a little more creative. From getting outdoors to online exercise classes to working out with your kids, here’s a roundup of online resources to keep you motivated and moving through this national crisis.

Work Out At Home

  • Yoga with Adriene is an extremely popular YouTube channel with international yoga teacher Adriene Mishler offering yoga practices for just about everything from yoga for weight loss to stress relief and relieving aches and pains.
  • Popsugar Fitness on YouTube features some of the most well-known fitness instructors from around the country leading classes in Pilates, Barre, strength, and cardio dance workouts for beginners through advanced.
  • Fitness Blender features husband and wife team, Daniel and Kelli Segars, leading workouts for both men and women in strength and cardio circuit training.
  • Basecamp Fitness is an Instagram page (@basecampfitness) offering different workouts four times per day, so if you prefer working different muscle groups on designated days and having flexible times available, this may be a good fit for you.
  • Amazon Prime If you’re already a member of Amazon Prime, there are numerous exercise videos available for all interests and skill levels such as indoor walking, chair yoga for seniors, kickboxing, Zumba, and hardcore Tabata workouts for advanced exercisers.

Get the Kids Involved

  • Work out together as a family with Body Coach TV. Joe Wick’s YouTube channel offers short PE-style workouts for kids daily.
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga has a YouTube channel and also offers videos on Amazon Prime featuring interactive adventures combined with simple yoga moves and relaxation techniques.
  • Little Sports on YouTube offers 15-minute workouts for kids focused on stretching and cardio.
  • Kidz Bop on YouTube has dance-alongs that your kids will love learning the choreography to popular and favorite pop songs.
  • Little Gym is also live-streaming free classes for kids.

Get Outdoors

Getting outside is essential to your well-being right now, just make sure when you exercise outdoors that you are maintaining social distancing guidelines. Going for a walk, run, or bike ride by yourself, with the dog, or with members of your immediate family who live with you is fine; exercising with a group is not. Choose areas where there are the least amount of people—a crowded park would not be ideal right now but jogging or walking in your neighborhood would allow you to more easily distance yourself from others. Be smart and use common sense and courtesy.

  • If you’ve ever wanted to run a 5K, now is a great time to train with the Couch to 5K program. You can download the fitness app or get the program from their website.
  • FitRadio allows the user to input their planned running/cycling/walking cadence and then will suggest music playlists to your pace to keep you moving throughout your workout.
  • Strava is another great tool to track your training when running or cycling outdoors. The app also allows users to participate in challenges with others in their community.

Self-care is so important during these uncertain times, and remaining active will not only be good for your body but good for your mental health, too.