[Mathys + Potestio // The Creative Party] THE ART & ZEN OF WORKPLACE SNACKS

Anyone who grew up with pizza parties already knows that free food can go a long way in boosting morale and motivation. Remember Pizza Hut’s Book-It? The program responsible for both childhood literacy and obesity?

While it wasn’t that long ago that company-sponsored snacks were mostly the newsworthy stuff of San Francisco start-ups, there’s no denying that food perks are now firmly ingrained in creative company culture.

“Office areas stocked with snacks are great for morale and promote random interactions that often generate new ideas,” the New York Times noted. The promotion of random interactions between departments can also jumpstart cross-collaboration and innovation, two magical things every agency wants but doesn’t always get. This alone is worth a more-than-healthy food and drink budget.

Snacks and in-house company happy hours are also fantastic at boosting productivity. “Having coffee and caffeinated tea on tap is huge,” said fellow writer (and fellow Amber) Amber James. “We’re a caffeine-dependent culture and having it free, or easily available to employees is only a recipe for success and increased morale.”

It makes sense: if you’ve got all of your favorite food and drinks waiting for you in the staff break room, you have that much more incentive to not only stay at work, but stay later and do more work.

In fact, snacks are such a big deal that a survey by online grocery-delivery company Peapod found that 66% of millennials surveyed stated that if they found a job at another company that offered better availability of snacks, they would take it.

Which begs the question: now that we’ve got snacks, how do we decide which company has the best snacks for our work-snacking needs?

Easy! We do the same thing we do when seeking a person to spend the rest of our lives with—we slip them into easily categorized boxes with no flexibility or deviation whatsoever for exceptions or unique individuality!

To help you out, here’s a handy guide to figuring out what kind of company you would most like to date work at, based purely on their snack offerings!

BEER ON TAP

Casual demeanor, intense innovation.
Uniform: hoodies, ripped jeans, Converse sneakers, baseball hat
Hobbies: video games, Reddit, Nerf gun wars
Dealmaker: Razor scooters and skateboards welcome!
Dealbreaker: lots of brahs, brah

CEREAL BUFFET

Sweet, sensitive creative types.
Uniform: scarves, patterned tights, throwback cartoon t-shirts.
Hobbies: adult coloring books, Adventure Time wikis, drunken spelling bees
Dealmaker: a sense of play!
Dealbreaker: a sense of play!

FULL-TIME BARISTA

Brooding, intense artistic types.
Uniform: cuffed jeans, flannels, top-knots/man-buns, Red Wing boots
Hobbies: Instagramming charcoal drawings, poetry slams, volunteering at South American organic produce farms
Dealmaker: If you secretly hate people, that’s okay—so does everyone else you work with!
Dealbreaker: (Pssst…everyone you work with secretly hates you)

PRESSED JUICE BAR

The Creative In Me Recognizes The Creative In You.
Uniform: athleisure all day e’rry day
Hobbies: SoulCycle, early morning raves, books by Gabrielle Bernstein, pilgrimages to Bali
Dealmaker: drop-in yoga classes and guided meditation sessions
Dealbreaker: no one wants to say that it’s a cult, but if you researched all the defining characteristics of a cult…

CATERED BREAKFAST & LUNCH

Kids who have never not been cool are now all grown up and work at a place!
Uniform: bespoke, up-and-coming designers, all vintage everything
Hobbies: TED Talks, interactive art galleries, pop-up restaurants
Dealmaker: you’ll feel cooler by association
Dealbreaker: everyone you associate with is cooler than you

KOMBUCHA ON TAP

“Don’t be a collector of more than you need / Got a lot of things growing / But keep watching your seeds.” – The Grateful Dead
Uniform: What does one wear whilst climbing a mountain? Wear that.
Hobbies: winter camping, volunteering at the local co-op, weekly bike maintenance meet-ups
Dealmaker: Smoke up a lil’ before work? No judgment! Got two live-in lovers? No judgment! Belong to a nudist commune? No judgment!
Dealbreaker: Didn’t know those pizza boxes could be composted? MAJOR JUDGMENT.

DOUGHNUT FRIDAYS

You don’t live to work; you work to live!
Uniform: Business casual—this is a workplace, dammit!
Hobbies: season tickets to the local sports team, weekends at the cabin, wine tastings
Dealmaker: half-day-Fridays during the summer
Dealbreaker: having to listen to your college buddy brag about the game room and keg parties at his tech start-up

No matter what snack profile fits you best, the bottom line? You’ve got choices.

Lots and lots of sweet, delicious, savory choices.*

*Unless, of course, you choose the company with the pressed juice bar, as cults typically like to make your choices for you.

Amber L. Carter is a writer, podcaster, and the author of THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. A former behavioral therapist, she now puts her extensive background in psychology to proper use by publishing thought pieces on the defining TV shows of our current times (‘The Bachelor’, ‘Vanderpump Rules’). She can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland just by having moved there.

Written for Mathys+Potestio // The Creative Party and published March 22, 2016

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