May Workplace Insights and Trends Fresh Out the Pantry

    Today's employees can feel overwhelmed, but supplying office snacks can help provide relief against everyday stressors.

    May Workplace Insights

    In recent years, many companies have reverted to an onsite or hybrid structure – making creating an office environment employees want to be in more important than ever. Hybrid work is here to stay, and striking a balance between home and the office empowers employees to cultivate the best schedule. 

    While returning to the office has created positive camaraderie and community, employees are also facing more external stressors than ever. Knowing the common challenges employees face helps food and beverage program managers develop strategies to bring people together – while offering relief in the way of employee money-saving and an outlet for meaningful, casual conversions at work.

    In this roundup, we're highlighting how common stressors are affecting employees and how curating a snacking program helps combat stress and burnout.

    Employees are spending an average of 11% of their income on food.


    USDA reports that food-at-home spending is up from $954.7 billion in 2021 to $1.05 trillion in 2022.

    Employees are spending 11% of their income on food.

    Walk through the aisles of your favorite grocery store and you may find that previously "cheap" pantry staples have ballooned in price. The average price of eggs is $4.82 in Illinois in 2024, but in 2018, eggs cost just $1.74 on average. Remember the infamous post-college ramen diet for penny-pinchers? For the first time in 11 years, major ramen sellers like Nissin Foods (the maker of instant noodles) have increased their prices, making once affordable ramen a little less so.

    Rising grocery costs have put more strain on households across the U.S. In 2023, The Independent reported that climbing food prices have had a detrimental effect on the mental health of shoppers. Rising food costs have also hindered shopper's ability to eat a healthy diet, according to 23% of people surveyed for the article. In addition, 22% of respondents said they had lost sleep worrying about high food costs.

    Snacks, non-carbonated drinks and produce are three of the five categories that drive nearly 30% of grocery inflation. These increases result in an average grocery cart costing 20% more than last year. As an F&B program manager, you might never know what budget struggles the workers in your office are going through. To provide an example, the average office employee grabs a coffee and breakfast (such as a sandwich) on their way to work – outside of the office, this can cost upwards of $10 per day, but with an office snacking program, employees can save money on these daily (and necessary!) staples. 

    Now more than ever, employees are looking to save anywhere, and food and beverage programs can help employees save around $305-$891/month. Providing onsite snacks can help your employees go from 😭to 😀as they look at their grocery bills. In fact, National Business Furniture reports that providing employees with any type of office snack helps boost morale and gives workers something to look forward to.

    Structured hybrid schedules are here to stay.


    Inc. reports that structured hybrid working styles grew 23% in 2023.

    Structured hybrid schedules are here to stay.

    Onsite, remote, and hybrid … oh my! Every week, publications, media outlets and social media gurus find new ways to describe where and how we work. The current workplace strategy taking the world by storm is called "structured hybrid," which gained traction in late 2023 and continued throughout 2024. 


    Although it may sound complicated, but structured hybrid is pretty straightforward–it refers to employees who divide their week between days spent in the office and working from home. A recent survey by Scoop, which included 4,000 companies, discovered that organizations requiring workers to be fully onsite declined from 49% in the first quarter of 2023 to just 42% by Q2 2023. 

    While working from home is a great option for heads-down time, in-person collaboration and relationship-building are invaluable to overall job satisfaction. Structured hybrid is a happy medium between these two schools of thought. Many companies have gotten on board and require 2-3 days in-office.  

    A hybrid schedule creates a desirable mix of in-person collaboration and culture-building while offering employees flexibility for personal commitments and unexpected life moments, such as sick days, doctor's appointments and school holidays/closures.

    The challenge for workplace teams is predicting headcounts in a hybrid environment. Unpredictable schedules make planning for deliveries and establishing a restock cadence difficult. Enter the Crafty Platform, powering top hybrid workplaces with the tools to manage their pantry experience seamlessly. 

    • Control your spend with robust spend reports to make smarter purchasing decisions. 
    • Manage your products with automated ordering tools to keep inventory at optimal levels.
    • Oversee onsite operations with a live view of our team making your pantry dreams come true. 

    Real Talk: Keeping inventory at perfect levels throughout the week can be stressful in a hybrid workplace. You don't want to have a stockroom full of products, but at the same time, you want to place another order before the shelves are empty. What to do?! Crafty's order automation tool pulls from the Goldilocks playbook. Our onsite team is taking regular inventory, and once a product hits the minimum threshold, our platform automatically orders more. As the story goes, your pantry doesn't have too much or too little, but just the right amount!

    Employees yearn for meaningful conversations as job satisfaction drops.


    Gallup reports decreased employee satisfaction and a yearning for more in-person interactions.

    Employees yearn for meaningful conversations as job satisfaction drops.

    McKinsey and Company has dubbed the current state of workplace burnout as "the great exhaustion." Only 41% of workers believe organizations have the tools to deal with burnout, and 36% feel their organizations need additional tools to solve this problem. Building authentic office relationships can help counteract burnout, and Gallup reports that a “manager having one meaningful conversation per week with each team member develops high-performance relationships more than any other leadership activity." (Wow!)

    Nothing says meaningful and casual like a pre-scheduled virtual meeting. Hybrid environments make having meaningful interactions that build rapport within and between teams easier. Employees can quickly catch up on weekend plans, family updates, and yes, favorite snacks before jumping into professional waters. The key is designing an office that enables those conversations to happen organically. 

    Office pantry programs provide a natural backdrop for these conversations. Bonding moments over food and drink can be a conversation starter for interactions that build authentic professional relationships. A global study by the International Social Survey Program found that work relationships strongly influence job satisfaction. Once employees make these casual connections, it's easier for them to tap those team members professionally, leading to increased creativity, productivity and engagement.

    Crafty gives workplace teams a birds-eye view of operations.


    Crafty's Operations Overview provides a real-time view into office pantry execution across locations. 

    Crafty Platform Operations Overview-1

    The days of channeling your inner Veronica Mars while checking in on our office pantry program are in the past. 

    Crafty launched the Operations Overview in April 2023, giving workplace teams full transparency in their program operations anytime, anywhere. See real-time progress at a glance, and just like Veronica Mars, we even include picture proof of all the tasks we completed across every location.


    The workplace landscape constantly evolves, and top organizations will craft an experience that meets employees where they are. Office pantries can combat the rising cost of groceries, incentivize the move to hybrid work and create a backdrop for meaningful employee conversations. Learn how to build a better workplace with Crafty. 

    Written by

    Crafty Team



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