Working from home may make it harder to choose healthy foods

Remote employees report snacking twice as often as those going into a workplace, according to a recent survey.
working from home
Nearly 2 in 5 work-from-home staffers eat high-calorie snacks when taking a break. | Photo: Shutterstock

Though remote workers are more likely to prepare food for themselves than go out to eat, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are making healthier choices when doing so.

In fact, home office workers may have a harder time resisting the lure of indulgent items than their counterparts who commute, according to a recent survey.

Thirty-eight percent of those who work from home eat high-calorie snacks when taking a break during the day, compared to 27% of employees who go into an office, found the 2023 Global Eating at Work Survey, conducted by foodservice giant Compass Group in conjunction with research firm Mintel.

In addition, remote staffers appear to snack twice as often as those going into a workplace, about three times daily.

Three-fourths of employees who work a hybrid schedule say they try to eat more healthfully when going into the office. And they may not see that effort as solely their responsibility—73% of workers with an office restaurant said they expect on-site eateries to assist them with making healthier food choices.

“It’s clear that workers everywhere want to adopt healthier lifestyles. But, with snacks readily available in the kitchen cupboard and the pressure to plan and prepare balanced meals for themselves, employees who work from home are finding it hardest to maintain healthy eating habits during their working day,” Shelley Roberts, group chief commercial officer of Compass Group, said in a press release.

“Knowing that hybrid workers want to catch up with colleagues and eat more healthily on days when they go into the office, employers have a real opportunity through their food offerings, breakout spaces and wellbeing initiatives to enhance the health and wellbeing of their teams, while also encouraging them back into the workplace more often,” Roberts said.

The 2023 Global Eating at Work Survey looked at feedback from 35,000 employees in 26 countries. It also found that prospective hires are scrutinizing staff benefits more closely than in the past, with foodservice being a main consideration, especially for Gen Z workers.



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