September 16, 2019
A group of people having their meals together creates amazing opportunities for meaningful conversations. Dinner tables are often the best places to share views and discuss the latest happenings in the world. It doesn’t even matter who we are lunching or dining with. Yes, you read that right. Conversations are bound to follow over food. The saying is true, food is fuel and not just for our bodies but, for our minds as well.
Here at Almabase, team lunches and dinners are a part of daily routine and adhering to this practice has truly shaped our workspace.
In recent years, food culture has infiltrated the core of most workplace environments. More so, many studies show the impact and correlation between food at office and increased productivity.
Interestingly at Almabase, we realized this at the very beginning. We started providing all three meals including snacks in the evenings, along with stocked up pantry right from Day 1. Almost immediately, we could see the impact this little practice had on our work environment. From debates on movies to politics, each day there would be a new topic to be discussed. Providing food at work also helped our team better utilize their time, without the burden to plan for their next meal. Without a doubt, it boosted work productivity for all.
Want to know how this idea of providing food at work has transformed our workspace and performance?
Think again if you believe that the food is just to fill your stomach. The sounds of laughter and excitement as we discuss and swap interesting stories about our lives and also the recent happenings in the world around are somethings we all cherish deep down. The time & conversations at our dining area have fostered an immense sense of belonging and trust.
The next step was to understand how to make the whole experience of ‘Food at the office’ better. We realized we had to address a couple of things first. We noticed a few team members bringing their own food to the office or simply ordering-in. On further thought and discussions, we were made aware that this was because they found the food served to be unhealthy and menus often being repeated. We decided we needed to prevent this from happening.
That’s where Janak comes in! Janak is our office cook and valued team member at Almabase who also happens to own a portion of stake! Janak is the reason why most team members don't bring food to work anymore. He's a full-time cook with a penchant for creating lip-smacking, eye-watering dishes. Janak has completely transformed our food culture by adding a variety of dishes to our menu and inculcating healthy food options. Janak also keeps rotating recipes so that we don’t get bored.
If not close to perfection, we slowly strive to make our meals a bit healthier. We offer a rich variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. We have added salads & boiled eggs to every meal.
What's more? We place unhealthy snacks in less accessible areas.
Here's the secret: All unhealthy snacks are on the ground floor. ;)
We've placed healthier snacks like dry fruits, office made energy bar, khakhra, and roasted peanuts at more accessible places like at the work stations.
Interestingly, a few of our team members have imbibed this habit into their lifestyle, and the change has been tremendous! Thus, this aspect also pushes each of us to make healthier choices, collectively pushing the entire team towards a healthy lifestyle.
Finally! The thought of providing all meals at the workplace has worked wonders for us. It has been picture-perfect throughout. We have ensured not to skip this practice even in tougher times. However, we have learned not to see providing food as an additional cost. On the contrary, we understand that it is fundamental so that the entire team thrives. We see it as a necessity for the growth and cohesion of the team. Thanks to the practice of ‘Food at the office”, the team has one less thing to worry about.
With this food culture, Almabase is paving the way to transforming the corporate landscape. Yes, we have a long way to go, especially when we look at the organization that inspires us the most - “ Asana”. They have an in house culinary team, that dishes out healthy and nutritionally balanced meals for their teammates to reach their full potential. They have beautifully echoed what we feel about Janak or this facility at work, of providing all the meals.
“It saves time and money too since Asanas don’t worry about groceries or cooking at home and packing a lunch; it’s hard to put a dollar amount on the value our culinary team provides.”