Gen Z Drives Wellness in the Workplace: 5 Trends to Watch

Published on : 5/15/23
  • As Gen Zers continue to influence the workforce, they bring a new perspective on workplace wellness. This generation has taken a holistic view of health by emphasizing healthy eating and mental well-being. And when it comes to choosing an employer, these workers value companies that care. Two-thirds of Gen Z employees want a company culture built around mental health and wellness, according to LinkedIn data.

    We've identified five trends that show what matters most to Gen Z and how employers can meet their wants and needs: 

    1. Support Their Mental Health

    Gen Zers were born between the late 1990s and early 2010s. Compared to other age groups, adults who are members of this generation are the most likely to say that their mental health is worse post-pandemic, according to the American Psychological Association.

    Gen Z expects employers to provide mental health resources and are more likely to be proactive about signing up for supportive offerings like therapy, workshops and wellness programs. More than 70% of Gen Z employees have taken advantage of the mental health benefits their employers offer, according to a Securian Financial study. This generation also believes that mental and physical health are connected and prefer to eat what's good for their bodies and minds.

    2. Opt in to Plant-Based Menus

    Another trend that is gaining traction is plant-based food. Plant-based diets are important to Gen Z: Nearly 80% choose to go meatless one day a week, and 65% say they want a more plant-forward diet, according to research by NPD Group. Across generations, about one in five adults say they want more plant-based food.

    Plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits, including reduced inflammation, lower cholesterol, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These diets also resonate with the many members of Gen Z who factor sustainability into their food choices.

    More and more employers are offering plant-based options in their cafeterias and break rooms. By incorporating plant-based options in the workplace, employers can promote healthier eating habits among their employees while ensuring Gen Z employees are satisfied.

    3. Promote Sustainability and Eating Local

    Employers are incorporating sustainable practices into their wellness programs, such as providing employees with locally sourced foods.

    More than 70% of Gen Z participants in a McKinsey survey said that they thought their generation was the most concerned about the environmental impact of what they eat, and they're taking action. Gen Zers are choosing to eat local and cut back on food waste to help reduce their carbon footprints.

    Our Modern Recipe offer makes healthy and sustainable choices easy by bringing contemporary food and flavors into the workplace. Modern Recipe prioritizes local produce and taps into Gen Z's interest in eating fruits and vegetables that have cosmetic quirks but the same high-quality flavor and freshness. Our chefs source the best local produce to create varied, satisfying dishes that impress Gen Z foodies and support the communities where they live and work.

    4. Consider New Beverage Options

    Members of Gen Z want their food to be clean, organic and natural, and the same goes for their beverages. Employers can incorporate drinks like kombucha, cold brew coffee and sparkling water into their food service offerings to offer a more enjoyable and diverse experience for Gen Z employees.

    Overall hydration is also important to Gen Z, so functional beverages that are enhanced with electrolytes and vitamins are a solid choice alongside regular bottled water.

    5. Bring Tech Into the Food Experience

    Gen Zers are a digital native generation, so it's no surprise that they are early adopters of contact-free, cashless food ordering and delivery. They're not afraid to try out tech-based options like Modern Recipe's smart vending machines and grab-and-go mini markets, as long as the food is fresh and delicious. By placing orders with our Everyday app, they save time and get exactly what they need to be productive: convenient, healthy food and drinks.

    Modern Recipe raises the bar for workplace food experiences by contributing to better productivity through better nutrition. But food isn't everything — we also ensure the experience fits your space and your employees. Digital services and relaxed internal environments align with Gen Z's preferences for convenient, high-quality meals, drinks and snacks that support their mental and physical well-being.

    What's Next

    Gen Z is driving changes in the workplace experience, and employers who want to attract and retain top talent must keep up with the latest trends. From sustainability and mental health support to plant-based nutrition, there are many ways employers can improve workplace wellness for Gen Z.

    By embracing these trends, employers can create a workplace culture that values the health and well-being of all employees.

    Sodexo and Modern Recipe provide food service solutions for employers across the world that satisfy and fuel their people. We're ready to partner with you and help you explore what's next:

    • Modern Recipe connects people through great food served in welcoming spaces.​ Our contemporary dishes are underpinned by wellness, rooted in a plant-based approach utilizing high-quality seasonal ingredients made for today’s consumer.
    • Our Everyday app simplifies mobile and kiosk food orders and features a digital wallet, plenty of personalization, scan-and-go capabilities and convenient order delivery.