Free Snacks at Work Ticket to Happiness

It’s the little things in life that make us happy.

Want proof?

Working Woman EatingAccording to a new study by grocery-delivery service, Peapod, companies that provide free food and fun snacks have happier employees.

The survey of more than 1000 full-time office workers found that 56% employees are “extremely” or “very happy” with their current job; however, that number jumped to 67% among those who had access to free food.

You might say, well, yeah, duh!

But I find this study interesting. Oh sure, you can say, of course these employees were happy because as humans we like to pig out. However, I think there’s more to it.

First of all, having treats like popcorn, cookies, granola, yogurt, and chips would make work feel like an edible playground and bring a sense of fun to the office. We could all use some more of that.

After a seltzer machine was installed at the public relations firm, InkHouse, employees told co-founder Beth Monaghan that the machine was “life changing.” And while she says they were slightly kidding, still, “people just love it.”

Happy WorkerIt helps employees be more excited about coming to work,” says Monaghan, whose company, in addition to the seltzer machine, also gets weekly deliveries of organic fruit and has soda, chips, cookies and a popcorn machine on hand.

I think the other reason the free snacks work so well is because everyone wants to feel valued. Some free food helps businesses show their appreciation, a personal interest in their employees, and a collaborative spirit.

“It shows a personal investment and that need to make sure that they’re happy here and they have everything they need to do a good job,” says Danielle Mahoney, director of human resources for software company Appeagle in an interview for USA Today. The business provides free breakfast and lunch plus has an internal communication system where employees can request specific snacks which are always available in the office kitchen.

Just goes to show just a little bit of daily joy in our lives goes a long way.

The study showed that only 16% of employees said they get free snacks and treats at work. Let’s take note and jump on board businesses! Happy employees are productive employees. And if you’re one of those 84% who works for a business that wouldn’t dream of providing free food – or you work at home or are retired – don’t despair.

There are plenty of ways to use treats to bring yourself a bit of enjoyment every day.

Make your favorite breakfast, eat it outside on the patio, and listen to calm music to start your day right. Buy lunch for a co-worker or a friend and enjoy their look of pleasure. Try baking some cookies and bringing them to the office to spread the joy. There’s nothing stopping you from bringing your own fun snack to work or fixing up some delectable treat at home.  Or simply treat yourself to a delightful scoop of Ben and Jerry’s Boom Chocolatta in the middle of the afternoon.

The point is to find ways to bring a daily dose of delight in your life. Then do it!

Images courtesy of Ambro and stockimages at


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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