If you’re onboarding new graduates right now, their experience will be very different to what it would have been only a few months ago. By helping them create a healthy eating plan while working from home, you’ll be making a positive contribution towards their health and wellbeing, giving them a great start to their working life.
The coronavirus has made starting a new job doubly stressful. Gone are the days of going into an office, meeting new colleagues face to face, and settling into a professional environment. Now, the first day at work is likely to take place in the living room or bedroom, and the first encounter with new colleagues will probably be a virtual one. On Day 1, your new grad may be left feeling bewildered, isolated and stressed out, before they’ve even had their first coffee break!
And there’s the rub: coffee breaks and snacking can get out of control when working from home, and if your graduate is feeling stressed as they grapple with the demands of their new job, the last thing they’ll be thinking about is a balanced breakfast or a nourishing lunch. With no official meal breaks and the kitchen only a few steps away, it’s much more likely they’ll be relying on mugfuls of caffeine and sugar-laden snacks to get them through their challenging day.
Before long these unhealthy habits, combined with the pressures of their new role, may take a toll on their health and wellbeing, affecting their energy levels, mood, concentration and performance.
In fact, research shows that the youngest members of the workforce are especially vulnerable when it comes to mental health issues, with higher levels of work-related stress and lower levels of performance and engagement compared to their older colleagues. According to data from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (2019), many young people admit to not eating healthily and three-quarters of them do not eat the recommended minimum of five portions of fruit and veg a day. Other associated health issues are smoking, binge drinking and poor sleep quality.
So how can you support your new graduates at this challenging time?
One simple solution is to encourage them to create a healthy eating plan from the get-go. Learning to make good food (and drink) choices that give them the right fuel as they get to grips with their new role, can help them remain focussed, engaged and motivated members of your team.
How I can support you and your employees
My tried and tested POWER Eating Plate is a practical and simple tool you can encourage your remote staff to use right away. I’ve used this model to help hundreds of employees understand and apply the principles of healthy eating so they can be sustained and energised throughout their working day.