Google doesn’t offer free food to its employees out of the sole kindness of its heart. There’s a hidden motive — and it’s rooted in keeping people in the office.
It all comes to productivity. When you have employees earning between $100 and $300 per hour, a lunch break is a considerable expense over the course of a month.
By offering a free lunch, Google stops employees from spending an hour at a local restaurant — most opt to eat at their desks while they work instead.
Plus, the conversations between people from different teams in the canteen is valuable inter-team communications that saves time spent in meetings.
You do the math — spend $10 to keep someone working over lunch instead of heading out and costing the company $200 in lost time? It’s a no-brainer.
“My experience is essentially that free meals encourage more time in office and more time spent with coworkers,” explains Jacob Lee, a former Google employee.
“This encourages more time spent in a work mindset thinking about work-related tasks (sharing ideas, helping others work through problems,” he added.
Not to mention free meals also strengthen company culture and improve overall employee happiness, encouraging them to work smarter and harder.
After all, you can’t go a single day without hearing the phrase “let’s discuss it over lunch”, so Google must be doing something right.
It’s breaking down silos and making people want to be at work.