Eat Well, Work Well

Posted On 8 Aug 2018

Eat Well, Work Well

8 Aug 2018
The latest healthy eating trends in workplace wellness

There’s been a healthy eating wellness shift recently at the top end of town, with major companies such as KPMG, NAB, and Bupa replacing vending machines, introducing healthy snacks and helping employees off sugar.

According to a recent article in The Financial Review, KPMG has introduced an eight-week corporate wellness program addressing excess added sugar intake and the increased risk of chronic disease.

NAB has removed its traditionally sugar-laden vending machines and is instead offering healthy snacks to employees. The bank has also introduced a digital health and wellbeing portal, which includes free behavioural change and evidence-based health programs.

And insurer Bupa has also installed healthier vending machines in its head offices and is providing a range of healthy eating tools, programs and information for employees. These include a FoodSwitch app and a traffic light system identifying the nutritional value of food by the colours red, amber and green.

So, while corporate wellness initiatives such as complimentary exercise sessions and massages are now commonplace, what’s driving this move to encourage healthier eating amongst employees?

1) Absenteeism is costing Australian employers over $33 billion a year
According to the 2017 DHS Absence Management and Wellbeing Survey, the cost of absenteeism in Australia is estimated to be over $33 billion each year. And 40 per cent of survey respondents said their absence levels had increased in the last 12 months. Employers are becoming more committed to improving the health of their employees to reduce absenteeism and boost individual and organisational productivity.

2) Healthier people lead to a happier, more motivated workforce
Workplace nutrition initiatives are vital to make sure your employees are healthy and happy, leading to a more high-performing, motivated workforce. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, more than 60 per cent of Australian adults are classified as overweight or obese and by 2025 that figure is expected to rise to 80 per cent. Many organisations have realised that they have a role to play in reducing sedentary workplace environments and increasing access to healthy food options within the workplace.

3) Engagement is higher and innovation becomes second nature
In a candidate short market, wellbeing initiatives are also becoming increasingly popular as an attraction and retention tool. In fact, many employers are placing wellness at the core of company culture, rather than as an add-on to their benefits program.

Meeting the health and nutritional needs of your employees often means engagement is higher, innovation becomes second nature and people are motivated. It’s then that companies achieve their goals and set new benchmarks.

The bottom line is, healthier employees lead to a happier and more productive workplace. And at a time of widespread skills shortages, companies need to offer multi-faceted workplace wellness programs to attract and retain superstar employees.

2018 trends in workplace wellness

At EST10, we partner with hundreds of companies large and small to source the very best office support talent. Here’s a selection of some of the complimentary workplace wellness initiatives we’re seeing offered to our candidates as part of their overall employment offer:

  • Pilates, yoga and meditation classes
  • Personal training, boot camps and gym memberships
  • Massage sessions
  • Subsidised physio sessions
  • Diet consultants
  • Quit smoking programs
  • Counselling and mental health days
  • Evening meals
  • Free breakfast and healthy snacks