A study commissioned by Highfive a US based Internet of Things (IoT) has indicated that companies that provide free lunch to employees are likely to see see improved productivity, high employees retention and achieve up to 150 per cent Returns of Investment (ROI). The study also indicated that apart from earning extra 30 minutes working time, free lunches boost employees moral, bonding mechanism and loyalty to the company.
An experiment carried out on Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a company with 750 employees where sensors were put on 30 employees to track the tone and frequency of their lunch conversations. The information was merged with email-traffic data and the results of weekly surveys in which employees rated their productivity and energy. When researchers analyzed the data, they found that employees that engaged in conversations frequently were more productive and energetic.
The M-Kula app by digital payments solution firm Apptivate Africa has been at the forefront of ensuring that companies are able to provide meals for their employees at the click of a button. The app provides a digital meal voucher that employers can use to feed their workers without having to set up a canteen or hire an outside caterer. M-Kula has partnered with various restaurants that enable the employees to order in their means once they get the voucher. This has led to massive sign-ups on the app as firms begin to realise the benefits that come with providing lunch to employees.
The Apptivate Africa CEO Neil Ribeiro urged more companies to take advantage of the tax-free lunch scheme inscribed in Kenyan laws to achieve shared growth with their employees. The 2015 Finance Act that allowed employers to spend Sh48,000 annually on every employee’s lunch as tax-free income is a voluntary scheme that is slowly gaining traction among corporate companies. Current M-Kula clients include; Tespok, Bean Interactive, Grant Thorton among others.