Office Snacks That Will Keep ‘Em Moving

admin by: Jonathan Shapiro, Chief Snack Officer

So it’s 3:00 in the office and you know what that means. If you scan the room, you’ll find several scenarios, all a cry for (snack) help. Joe is at the vending machine, eyes glazed over, waiting for his daily dose of crunchy-cheez-whatevers. At several workstations, people are slumped over, a not-so-subtle signal that they’re just about done, even though the day isn’t. And then there’s the health nut who’s doing the keto thing this week and starts pulling out cans of tuna for her 3:00 feeding. The overwhelming stench of canned fish is pretty much unmistakable. And if that’s not bad enough, you also have a hint of eu-de-burnt-popcorn in the air because someone always burns the popcorn. It’s a scientifically proven fact.

This is not ok.

They key to ending the daily 3:00 office fatigue epidemic is providing healthy snacks that will re-energize your workers, raising their productivity and, ultimately, your bottom line. But what snacks will give employees the best energy-bang for your buck? How can you keep them mentally and physically competent until quittin’ time? And, for the love of all things that are holy, how do you provide snacks that are healthy but still suitable for the workplace? (I’m looking at you and your stinky hard boiled eggs, Ms. Paleo.) Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when providing snacks to increase the energy and productivity of your employees.

Know What to Offer (And What to Avoid)

In a perfect world, your employees would be satisfied– thrilled, even–with an offering of kale chips and chia bars. And while there are certainly some people who will be happy with that, there are others who are going to crave their old standbys. This is where we come in. Our extensive snack offerings provide healthy options for both those who can’t live without flax as well as those who will give you flack for making it the only option. Offering healthy snacks as well as “healthier” snacks is a delicate balance and we’ve struck it.

How? WorkPerks has determined that there are plenty of healthy options that will fill your employees up without dragging them down. And because we’ve got something for everyone, these are snacks they’ll actually eat! Forget the tray of cast-off veggies with a ranch-esque dip or the fruit basket that’s still donning its cellophane wrapper (does anyone actually eat those things?). If you want to keep your employees moving, meet your new best friends: protein, healthy fats and fiber-filled carbs. Offering snacks that combine protein and complex carbohydrates, like those found in produce and whole grains, will keep blood sugar levels stable, so workers avoid the inevitable insulin-spike followed by the subsequent crash. Offering healthy fats, like those found in coconut oil and avocado, allow us to provide classic snacks like chips and cookies that have added health benefits.

Let’s Talk Specifics

So now you know that snacks with protein, fiber and healthy fats are the key to keeping your workers productive and energized. I know…that’s totally unhelpful. So instead of sentencing you to an afternoon of snack-oriented research, here are a few suggestions for delicious noms that are high in protein and fiber and low in refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Edamame: Who doesn’t love going out for sushi? It’s fun! It’s social! They have edamame! Bring a little of that novelty into the office by keeping some bags of frozen edamame in the break room freezer. Your employees can pop them into the microwave for an easy-to-fix snack.

Whole Grain Crackers With Cheeses That Don’t Suck: If you get run-of-the-mill cheddar, no one is going to care. Get a few blocks of decidedly fancy this-is-a-big-step-up-from-the-crap-I-usually-eat cheeses and you’ll have everyone clamoring for a cube.

Vegetables and Guacamole: Veggies dipped in individually packaged guacamole cups pack in the healthy fats and are always a hit. (Insert requisite “guac costs extra joke” here.) Bonus points? Everyone, even Mr. I’m-on-Whole-30-this-week, can eat them. If you want to bump up the protein content while maintaining those healthy fats, hummus is a great substitute.

Thoughtfully Crafted Chips and Cookies: There’s no need to ditch the chips and cookies when you’re giving your team a healthy boost. Providing selections that are non-GMO, free of trans-fats, contain whole grains or pack a protein punch with alternate grains like quinoa and chickpea flour will get them energized without sacrificing flavor.

But Don’t Stop at Food…

While healthy snacks are a great way to keep people moving, there are a few other ways to combat the snooze-fest that is mid-afternoon.

Hydration is key to avoiding a slump. To make sure your employees stay hydrated, consider offering bottled water that they’ll actually want to drink (not the cheap stuff). If you must get the cheap stuff, consider offering an array of individual (sugar-free) flavored drink packets. Or, for a more green approach, invest in a clear water dispenser, then fill it each day, infusing it with sliced fruit. It easily trumps regular tap water and is reminiscent of the classy cucumber-infused water served in high-end spas and hotels. One other idea to up the fun in this department is to utilize a great drink service like Bevi, which has a dispenser machine that provides custom flavored water and sparking water!

Break out the peppermint. Peppermint has been shown to improve alertness, memory and concentration. This is our goal! So because you’re cool like that, invest in a gumball machine and fill it with mint gumballs. Keep a bowl of coins handy and let your team get their chew on whenever the need strikes.

The Bottom Line

The afternoon may drag on but, with the proper fuel, your employees don’t have to. A few healthy snacks will keep everyone energized and productive until the whistle blows.