“An army marches on its stomach”
And your army is your workforce…
The importance of nutrition isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when designing or fitting out your offices – but food and drink play an integral role in achieving positive interactions between your employees.
The office kitchen has traditionally been placed towards the bottom of the wish list with lighting, furniture, sound, colour and all other essential aspects of office design reigning supreme above it. Strange really, as one of the things that will make or break a house sale is the kitchen. And considering how many hours we now all spend at the office, surely the lowly kitchen deserves to be revisited and placed on a higher rung of importance?
Getting your staff chatting and exchanging ideas and experiences with each other in a relaxed atmosphere, not just through scheduled meetings, provides a more natural environment for all. And where better to have a relaxed chat that over a cup of coffee, or in the queue for the canteen?
Google have nailed if – of course they have, they’re Google. But we’re not talking slides here, we’re talking an implicit understanding of the importance of food and drink within the office culture.
To get their staff networking and talking to each other, Google added design features to their offices with the intention of causing ‘casual collisions’. No part of Google’s New York campus is more than 150 meters away from a cafe, kitchen or snack bar ensuring that their employees will be more likely to cross paths on their way to collect coffee or a bite to eat.
More needs to be done to discourage workers from eating lunch at their desks and to use communal dining areas instead. Slumped over a soggy sandwich and checking in on Facebook is not going to get work colleagues enthused. Most of us look forward to going out to a great restaurant, so why not bring this concept into the workplace?
It's time to bring our love of food into the workplace, and reignite our passion for the office kitchen.