Wow in today’s economy with corporations trying to do more with less there is one funny statistic that is absolutely staggering to me- over 2.4 BILLION hours a year are lost in productivity by employees running out to grab coffee and snacks.
You know I remember as a child when those statistics were aligned with smoking cigarettes. Now people need stretch breaks from their work, especially the more it is mentally taxing them. What surprised me is how if you think of this number in terms of, how can we milk more hours from employees, but instead, what should you be doing to make employees lives easier?
I remember working as a recruiter and we had a snack room with fruit, tea and coffee. Then the cut came and the first thing to go was the healthy snacks in the break room. The dollar cost the company saved on paper wasn’t anything compared to the loss they experienced in productivity, collaboration and loyalty.
Collaboration– See when people came in the break room we would share deals we were working on and resources. So we ended up collaborating on deals largely through our casual discussions. Once the break room changed, people started going out of the office for snacks and…no surprise the number of deals closed went down.
Productivity– Since we now needed to go somewhere else to get snacks, more people started to either take longer breaks or leave at five to go home for dinner. In the past many people stayed until 6 pm or 7 pm because they could grab a snack and keep going. Now as they debated their stomach’s growling and no relief was in sight it made sense to just pack up and head home.
Loyalty- In the past because we were meeting in the break room and collaborating on deals there were no silos. We tended to want to work together and make things happen. As deals closed this in turn made us all more loyal to the company.
Right now, look at your office and check out the productivity drainers. They may be impacting you far more than you imagine. Make sure you create an environment that fosters productivity, collaboration and loyalty. Your latte may be costing more than you think!