1 in 5 employees have reported that they find it difficult to be healthy at work due to poor food provisions, a new nationwide survey has revealed.

The Canteen Spend Study, from JJust Eat for Business, surveyed over 200 office workers to reveal their attitude towards food provisions at work – including work canteens and in-office delivery – and identify what aspects they enjoy and what they’d change.

With many workers around the UK settling back into their office routines, the focus has once again shifted to what employees eat for lunch, and how it impacts their health and wellbeing.

And with 1 in 5 employees finding it difficult to be healthy at work due a lack of high-quality and varied meals provided by employers, the emphasis is on improving food provisions.

These issues are evident when it comes to office canteens, as a fifth (22%) of those surveyed wished that their canteens offered healthier options, while 59% felt that the quality of food offered could be improved.

This has clear implications for those with restrictions or allergies, as the survey revealed that 15% of employees don’t have their dietary requirements met in work canteens.

The kind of food offered is a key concern for employees without restrictions too, as the survey shows that work canteens can often be too restrictive or expensive to enjoy.

However, there are still clear benefits to enjoying food as a team at work, as the survey found that 22% of employees enjoy eating in a social atmosphere, while 1 in 10 consider regular team lunches to be a great work perk.

Azmaira Maker, Clinical Psychologist, weighs in on the benefits of providing food at work, saying: “In providing high-quality and healthy food, an organisation aims for healthy and alert employees who have the right kind of fuel in them to keep them performing at their best.

“When employers pay attention to this aspect of wellbeing, they do more than just rack up benefits for employees. They also open the doors of the organisation to several associated benefits ranging from goodwill to a healthier and more engaged workforce.”

Despite clear benefits behind catered lunch breaks, the survey also revealed that half (55%) of employees have never had their employer cater for them.

Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director at Just Eat for Business commented on the findings: “While work canteens have been a staple for many workplaces over the years, the lack of food options and variety can prove inconvenient for employees with dietary requirements and health goals.

A great way to treat your employees to a team lunch is with a prepayment service, like Just Eat Pay, where you can ensure your team is well catered for – dietary requirements and all. With many finding catered lunches to be an attractive work perk and crucial for team bonding, both employees and employers can benefit from regular food provisions.”

To see the full findings of the Canteen Spend study, please visit: https://business.just-eat.co.uk/blog/canteen-spend