Free Office Food is the Best

I wish everyone would stop hating on office perks. Comfy couches. Well-stocked fridges. A rotating assortment of snacks that would overwhelm a third grader — or thirty-year-olds.

Millennial jokes aside, I do firmly believe that office snacks serve a greater purpose than just quelling employee discontent and hanger. Can I interest you in some free-range, organic, artisan snack mix? No? Then how about some of the reasons I truly love free office food? Good.

First off, it’s free.

Now, this might seem unnecessary to point out, but bear with me.

If you are one of my fellow Millennials, chances are you’re paying off a mountain of tuition debt, maybe working in an underpaying industry or freelancing (ah the liberal arts), or simply living in an expensive city (but the culture! The opportunities! The FOMO!) Dealing with an economy that bottomed out around the time we started working is a challenge. But with hard work, budgeting — and some creative tips — you, too, can be living largeish. My point? Free food is a gift not to be snubbed, whether you’re hitting your monthly limit, or simply overslept and forgot your bagel. Save on lunch, splurge on dinner. Or happy hour, I’m not judging.

Free food is helpful if you’re running the office, too.

It’s an easy (and relatively cheap) way to reward people and make an office feel friendlier. When hunger pangs strike, it’s nice to have a range of snacks to nibble on, rather than stale granola bars — or worse — nothing at all.

Okay, so now that we’ve covered the most obvious and practical perks…

On to the more interesting reasons for office food: the emotional benefits.

These emotional benefits range from a sense of novelty that breaks up the work day, to the more lasting effects of employee (or canine) bonding — all sparked by the presence of free office food.

Any time free food appears, it feels like a present of sorts. Slack notifications sound, G-chat goes wild, people race for the table! If none of this happens at your office, I can only say that you are far classier than us (or you’re lying). From something as simple as leftover meeting bagels, to special treats like birthday cake or a catered lunch, the fact that this food is unexpected — and free of course — adds a spark of excitement to the day. After all, who doesn’t love a tasty surprise? (Monsters, that’s who).

Which brings me to my last, but arguably most important perk: sharing food in the office creates connection.

Whether you make it, buy it, or simply hover over it together, sharing food is a form of affection. It strengthens friendships, and helps to break the ice with new people. There’s also something humanizing (maybe even bonding?) about scrounging for post-meeting leftovers alongside the CEO. Just have to beat all the other office dogs to the table.

Better luck next time, Fanny — this pita is mine.

Sam the Doodle