Do you work in an office that is littered with community snacks on a regular basis? Or do you work somewhere that the phrase “birthday treat” is never even uttered? Here at EPIC, we’re in the former camp, with donuts being a particularly popular choice. (We recently made a treat calendar to avoid the overlap of multiple dozens of donuts being brought in on the same day.)
There have been a number of articles written and plenty of research done to show that having treats around the workplace is both good and bad. While overindulgence can cause issues, people find joy in sharing treats, eating snacks, swapping recipes and chit-chatting around a table full of special foods. There is a reason that many social occasions revolve around eating. Food brings people together!
At EPIC, we’ve taken our love of food one step further with an official Food Club. Started by Mary Hacker, one of EPIC’s best and brightest project managers, this club is comprised of foodies who brainstorm ideas for a monthly special-themed treat. On the appointed day, the club members put the tasty treats on a cart that is rolled around to all sections of the building so no one misses out. Our Food Club has even extended its purpose by creating a “favorite foods” recipe book comprised of EPIC employee submissions that we will hand out later in the year.
In addition to the employee-provided snacks, EPIC stocks all of our conference rooms with a generous amount of snack food available to all, free for the taking. This is meant to convey a vibe of hospitality to any guests or clients we may host, but it does much more than that. According to an article written for USA TODAY, these company-provided treats make for a more positive work environment for our employees as well.
The smiles on the faces of those that work here indicate this gesture of food sharing definitely has a positive effect and provides a much-needed break from the daily grind. And the number of candy bowls on desks and goodies passed between employees shows that we get it — shared food brings all kinds of people together.
For three years now, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has named EPIC Creative a “Top Workplace” for providing a positive workplace, culture and sense of community. But it’s not just food-related fun—our “Work hard. Have fun.” culture also includes things like bringing your dog to work, casual dress, and some of the best co-workers around. So how did EPIC celebrate this top honor in 2018? With a deliciously decadent pancake lunch, of course!
While we think the positives definitely outweigh the negatives of food in the workplace, just keep in mind that there are things you can do to combat those negatives: Take regular breaks from sitting. Take a walk on your lunch hour, solo or with a friend. Get yourself at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. And don’t forget to fill your daily meals with fruits, veggies and whole grains so the treats in the workplace remain your friend and not your foe.