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Doughnuts for Dollars

In a column yesterday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nancy Hauge comments on the role junk food can play in team development, project management, and a business's success.

The rapidity with which an enterprise creates value is directly related to how well it stocks the company kitchen. The lower the nutritional value of the food choices, the greater the intellectual property produced.

While Hauge touches on the morale increases brought on by a well-stocked cupboard, there's a larger point about productivity: When there are snacks to be had, people arrive at work later — and stay later. Food makes people linger longer because there's less impetus to leave in search of sustenance.

What's in your office kitchen?

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  • Jim Oldman

    It is a good bet, 'Dollars to Doughnuts', that somewhere in your advertising and marketing, as you define your Brand, you use the term 'Quality'. That is very reassuring, except, what does that term mean for Hospitality, much less Retail?
    You may declare that you have a quality product or quality service or just plain utilize quality as a modifier. We all use it. It is a comforting word, been around for years, and it has value, because 'Quality' is good and a basic expectation for the Consumer.

  • martha

    I worked for a small company (75 people) that eliminated the traditonal 'health' bonus'. The dollars they use to give employees towards gym memberships etc. Instead someone came in every day at 2-3 and left veggie platters, fruit platters and sometimes whisical stuff like ice cream. It was a terrifc health boost and moral boost. And the accountant liked it because it was money previously given to employees anyhow !!

  • jay hoey

    Ms. Hauge may want to look at the food culture that Google developed for it's employees. The concept of free, healthy, and interesting foods and snacks impressed the employees and job recruits so much that 9 out of 10 said that the food was one of the best perks at the company and inspired them with healthy energy that promoted innovation and production.

    Let's not forget the energy that we use to digest this junk food. A healthy rational approach to eating at work and home has got to be good for business.

  • Eric Hart

    I think Nancy Hauge does not understand the difference between correlation and causality.

  • mike mayer

    Forget health food and forget junk food, coffee is where it is at. Now we hear that coffee improves your IQ and has a host of health benefits.

    One of my favorite quotes in busines is from the successor to Albert Dunlap at Sunbeam. When asked how he handled the long work days that followed Sunbeam financial troubles, his response "I drank coffee in the afternoon".

    Hey, if coffee is now good for you along with a low-carb diet, next the three martini lunch will be proven a health benefit.

  • Eric Shripka

    At the company I work for, many employees raised the issue of vending machines containing unhealthy choices. The company listened and is now in progress of installing vending machines that contain healthier foods such as fresh fruits, sandwiches, juices, etc.

    My personal remedy to the unavailable food or limited choices is brining my own food. I have a drawer in my desk that I stock bananas, peanut butter, almonds, energy bars,bread, cereal, dried fruits. Break room refrigerator I keep some milk and other drinks. So, if it's one of those nights where I'm burning the midnight oil, I can slap together a PB & J sandwich and some fruit. May not be a Filet and baked potato, but it beats they typical pizza delivery. I had to start locking my desk up because I noticed things were disappearing!

  • Rob Bergin

    We work in a semi-rural area and have a similar cafeteria style - closes at 2-2:30 pm. After that its all vending machines or pizza delivery, our place is pretty progressive but the vending machine culture appears to prohibit progressive purchases.

    Maybe a good idea for a company is a healthy vending machine albeit the above post says eating healthy would reduce intellectual value created.

    I know MSFT used to have free soda all the time, folks could grab one or two pops and bring them back to their desks, it probably cut down all walking back and forth and the need for pocket change.

  • Chris Brogan...

    I think it'd be neat to validate this: my office has GREAT food between 7:30AM and 1:30PM. And then, we're left to using a vending machine full of crap. Our 3rd shift maintenance windows are usually fueled by Dunkin Donuts. So, I'm wondering if it's people who work the odd hours that get the low-nutrition food, and are thus still mapping to that finding. Make sense?

    The programmers and other folks who need silence and focus to get things done work off-hours, when the food is available.

    Great post!

    Latest: The Naked Organization