Berry blast: Best bites to boost productivity revealed

Something for the weekend: Employers looking to help their staff boost productivity while providing a healthy snack around the office should make a beeline for berries, according to research by nutrition programme provider Lifesum for Work.

High in polyphenols, berries were found to be the best food for boosting cognitive function and supporting a healthy brain. Also on the list of top snacks were walnuts, to improve mood and support brain health, sweet potatoes for improved energy levels, oats to help make serotonin and melatonin for optimal mental health, brown rice for a healthy gut, and kale to reduce inflammation and mood symptoms.

This is something staff have known for a while, with 2017 research by British Summer Fruits finding that 52% of employees notice a productivity increase when free fruit is provided at work.

However, when it comes to motivation and getting staff back to the office, the picture might be a little different. Research by the Wall Street Journal found that, while fruit and nuts might be berry good for boosting productivity, it is exotic and exciting snacks that really get employees pumped about returning to office life.

Popular lunches among those interviewed by the publication included bahn mi sandwiches, shredded pork burrito bowls, toasted flatbreads and buffalo chicken wraps.

Markus Falk, chief executive officer (CEO) of Lifesum, said: “Employee burnout is at an all-time high, with poor mental health and wellbeing negatively impacting an organisation’s bottom line.”

Livia Martini, chief people officer at employee wellbeing platform Gympass, added: “While mental health has been a focus for many in recent years, the impact that proper nutrition can have across both physical and mental wellbeing is often overlooked. If employees are happy and healthy, the research shows you will see that reflected in their productivity, and proper nutrition plays a vital role within that.

Here at Employee Benefits, with lunchtime just around the corner, it might be time to think about that afternoon productivity boost, or keep things exciting with an exotic Friday treat…