There’s no such thing as a free lunch – unless you work for one of the 85 Boston area companies offering free, daily meals! As some employers struggle to entice workers back to the office, others are finding that free lunch brings people back together.

According to a survey by ezCater, which sampled 1,000 workers around the U.S., 65% of respondents said that the availability of free lunch affected their office attendance. In fact, free meals at the workplace rank as one of the most desired office perks. The only perk scoring higher than free food is extra vacation days! Still, about 1 in 5 employees cited free lunch as the most important, or influential perk, in returning to the office. The survey shows free lunch beating out other perks like transportation reimbursement, gym reimbursement, or weekly social events in-office.

While other return-to-office perks may have a higher dollar value, there is a psychological appeal to free lunch; it conveys a sense of being cared for. It also opens the lunch hour to something everyone can participate in, regardless of personal finances, thereby enhancing the social factor. In short – it makes people happy.

Free lunch is especially appealing to younger generations of employees. According to the survey, only about 9% of Generation Z workers bring lunch from home; the vast majority go out for lunch, or obtain take-out or use a food delivery service. About 68% Millennials go out for lunch at least two times a week. About 58% of Generation X respondents went out twice a week for lunch. Only about 44% of Boomers reported going out for lunch more than once a week.

Free lunch doesn’t guarantee 5-day a week attendance loyalty, though it does encourage employees to work on-site more often. 87% of Gen Z workers said they would return to the office “more frequently” in return for a free lunch. Flexibility in attendance is still a priority for younger generations of employees, with some preferring remote work exclusively.

Free lunch may be the ultimate office perk, but office amenities and aesthetics count as well! The design of your office space may present a reflection of your company culture, for better or worse. Review your office space periodically, and evaluate how suitable it is for current operational needs, employee retention and future growth. It may be time for a change!

When you are ready to begin, relocate or expand your business, team up with the Jay Nuss Realty Group, LLC! Whether you are thinking of buying, leasing, or investing in Boston Metro commercial real estate, we can help you find the ideal property!

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Jay Nuss
Jay Nuss Realty Group, LLC

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