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April 23, 2024

Nourishing employee productivity and fueling success

The vital role of employee nutrition in and outside of the workplace.

Mollie Musgrave


  • The importance of employee nutrition and how it affects productivity 
  • Strategies that encourage healthy eating in and out of the office
  • Resources that help employers support their team's total well-being

In today's fast-paced work environment where stress levels can run high, it's easy for employees to neglect their nutritional needs. Overlooking nutrition can have significant consequences, not just for individual health but also for workplace productivity. Employers play a crucial role in fostering a supportive environment for their employees' well-being and nutritional needs.

The importance of employee nutrition

Nutrition is the cornerstone of overall health and well-being. A balanced diet provides the body with essential nutrients needed for optimal functioning. It fuels energy levels, enhances cognitive function, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

Research consistently demonstrates the correlation between nutrition and productivity. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees with unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to report productivity loss than those with healthier eating habits.

Prioritizing corporate wellness and nutrition is also simply good for business. Healthy employees are more productive, have fewer sick days, and are less prone to chronic diseases. Health-related employee productivity loss accounts for 77% of all losses and costs employers two to three times more than annual health care expenses. This shows employers can reap long-term benefits by investing in their employees' well-being.

Strategies that encourage healthy eating in and out of the office

Creating a supportive workplace culture is a vital component of promoting healthy eating habits. Employers can foster an environment where health and wellness are valued and encouraged. Some of these strategies include:

Incorporating healthy food policies and practices into the company’s culture

Create a supportive workplace culture by weaving policies and practices into the organization's fabric. This can include prioritizing employee well-being, by providing healthy food options in the office cafeteria or vending machines.

Putting policies into place that encourage or promote healthier food options like salads, protein bowls, and sandwiches in meetings that run over lunch time. Also promoting regular breaks for employees to prioritize their nutrition can help them stay energized and productive throughout the day.

Supporting your remote employees

With the rise of remote work, employers must adapt their strategies to accommodate employees working from home. Providing remote employees with resources for nutritional planning and allotting a stipend for healthy meal subscription boxes can help support their nutritional needs at home.

You can also reach remote employees by posting healthy snack and meal ideas through company communication channels. Employees can submit recipes shared as the "meal of the day," encouraging healthy eating habits.

Offering flexible schedules and addressing time-related barriers

Research has shown that working 40 or more hours a week is associated with beliefs of time-related barriers to healthy eating. Employees may feel they lack time to eat a nutritious meal during working hours. They also report feeling too rushed to consume a healthy breakfast.

Flexible work schedules can reduce time constraints, giving employees more time to prepare nutritious meals. They can also help eliminate the need to rely on unhealthy fast-food options or skip meals.

Incentivizing participation in challenges and activities

Encouraging employees to participate in wellness challenges can be an effective way to promote healthy eating. Employers can offer incentives such as rewards or recognition for employees who engage in nutrition-related activities. Another strategy to promote participation in healthy eating could be partnering up employees to become each other's accountability teammates.

Promoting education and awareness

Employers can play a significant role in educating employees about the importance of nutrition and its impact on overall well-being. This can be done through workshops, seminars, or online resources that provide information on healthy eating habits, portion control, and the benefits of a balanced diet.

Marsh McLennan Agency is here to help you build a happier, healthier workplace

We understand the importance of employee well-being and can offer resources to help you ensure your teams are happy, healthy, and ready to take on the day. Our health management consultants partner with you to create wellness and nutritional counseling programs. When you invest in your employees' well-being, their productivity is limitless.

Learn more about how our Dimensions of Well-being program helps support your employees' nutritional needs.

Reach out to a Marsh McLennan Agency health management consultant today to learn more about how we can help.