It's crunch time: the workplace bickie debate

Healthy work snacks instead of sugary biscuitsThe bickie has been a staple in workplace kitchens for years. But you might be surprised to learn that today’s workplaces are pushing back on stocking them, replacing their sweet, delicious crunch with one of another kind: beautiful hand-held fruit.


Intellectually, we know fresh fruit is a healthier choice, but many workers still reach for a ‘junk’ or processed snack when they’re peckish. In our Workplace Health Index, we surveyed 500 Australians to find out about their health and habits at work. We discovered that if we consume anything like the quantity of Apples and Blackberries that we use – our workplace would be a whole lot healthier and more productive.


Naughty workplace eating habits

Let’s face it; we all have our momentary lapse of health concentration, especially during times of stress. But with employees sitting down for an average of seven hours a day, what we consume becomes crucial to both our health and productivity. In our survey, respondents confessed to some naughty workplace eating habits:

– over half devour junk food during the mid-afternoon slump and almost 20% if they have to work late
– almost 65% somewhat or definitely blame their lapse of healthy eating habits on stress
– almost 61% blame their naughty habits on a lack of healthy food options near work, or not having enough time to pack a healthy lunch
– 45% are influenced by their co-workers’ naughty eating habits.


Sweet snacks: a complicated issue

Behavioural specialists point to a psychological reason for our love of office bickies, theorising that the tradition of having a sweet treat is one way we reward ourselves for hard work.

For many, biscuits offer positive associations and fond memories, and so may represent the ultimate comfort food – a pleasant momentary refuge from the high stress environments in which many of us earn our pay cheque. But it’s worth noting that the evidence pointing to processed sweets as the culprit behind a staggering array of health problems is continuing to accumulate at an alarming rate.


It’s time to ditch the bickie tin

As more and more employers put workplace health and wellbeing initiatives into place, the bickie tin’s days are numbered. According to our survey, almost 80% said they would rather be employed by someone who provides healthy living programs and support. With stats like this, the onus falls increasingly on employers to create a culture conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Ditching the bickie tin and replacing it with fruit goes a long way to help.