Discounted canteen and fresh fruit beats gym membership as employee perks.

Providing free or discounted food at work could play a crucial role in improving employee engagement and productivity according to a new survey* from Ambius, the workplace environment consultants. When asked to rank in importance a list of job perks outside of company cars, pensions and health cover, an extra day’s holiday came top with 50% ranking it highest in importance, but a total of 69% ranked a discounted staff canteen (40%) or free fruit at work (29%) as most important. Just 16% ranked free gym membership highest as a perk and only 11% rated time off to work for charities as very important.

While 27% of respondents said they don’t always have time to take a lunch break, fruit is a favoured work snack for 9 out of 10 of employees and bananas are the overwhelming favourite among office fruit eaters with 44% of those surveyed saying it was their top choice of fruit. Apples came in second at 22%. However 12% like to mix it up and go for prepared and packaged fruit cocktails for their fruity fix.

Top Employee Job Perks
1 Extra day’s holiday
2 Discounted Staff Canteen
3 Free Fruit at Work
4 Gym Membership
5 Time off to work for charity

Trisha Haughey MD of Ambius says “Based on our own experience of delivering fresh fruit to businesses, apples, the more exotic pineapple and grapes are really popular along with bananas.

“But what’s really clear from this survey is that free or discounted food is really valued at work. After all, an army marches on its stomach and while employees aren’t necessarily exerting themselves physically for their job, we all know it’s hard to concentrate when hunger sets in.

“Fruit in particular has proven health benefits, such as helping to fight disease and everyday infection from colds. With 27% struggling to find time for lunch it’s easy to see why respondents to the survey ranked the provision of free fruit so highly as an employee perk, providing a healthy snack on the go.”