Employees who work from home are more likely to eat indulgent foods, snack between meals, and work longer hours than their workplace-based colleagues. While more than half of workers globally said they struggle to maintain healthy diets while at work, with employees who work from home finding it hardest to resist temptation.
Irish figures from food services company, Compass Group Ireland, show that 53% of home-based and hybrid workers admit to regularly eating indulgent foods during their working day. They were also found to snack on average 1.9 times a day, almost 20% more than work-based employees. Eating high-calorie snacks such as chocolate during breaks (36% of home workers v 26% of work-based employees) was also more of a temptation for those working from home here.
EXPECTATIONS AND REALITIES
Analysing insights from 35,000 workers across 26 countries, the Global Eating at Work Survey 2023 found a majority of workers recognise the productivity and wellbeing benefits of a healthy diet during their working week.
67% of respondents said that what they eat and drink at work has a direct impact on their productivity.
In the Irish cohort, 77% of workers said the food and drink they consume has a direct impact on how they feel, while 85% agreed that eating and drinking healthily is essential to long-term health.
75% of hybrid workers here said they make a concerted effort to eat more healthily on days they are in the workplace. They also want more guidance and support from employers to achieve this. 77% of Irish employees with a staff restaurant say they expect food outlets in the workplace to help them make healthier nutrition choices.
AGE RELATED EATING HABITS
Healthy eating is a generational thing too, it appears. Younger workers in Ireland are most interested in healthy eating at work, and how the food they eat impacts their productivity. Millennials are most likely to choose a healthy snack during their breaks.
The survey also revealed that home-based workers are nearly three times more likely than workplace-based colleagues to take exercise during the working day.