Finding ways to maximize employee productivity is a key part of having a successful business. Having productive employees translates to efficient use of time and resources, lower operating costs, and increased profitability. But what drives your team to be more productive?

New research indicates that employee happiness can boost productivity at work by 12%. So the next logical question is, what drives employee happiness? Job satisfaction and engagement are two significant factors at play as today’s employee seeks more than just a salary from their place of work. 

Company benefits have frequently been part of an employee’s compensation package, however trends indicate that they’re now more important than ever. But it’s important to understand that company benefits are more than just healthcare, vacation time, and employee discounts. Consider this - while employees often cite additional paid time off as the most highly desired benefit from their companies, over 50% of employees end up with unused vacation time each year due to the stress of actually taking time off. Similarly, while discounts and rewards are a common addition to employee benefits packages, studies have shown that people are less motivated by material spending and more likely to invest in services that make their lives more convenient, like food delivery.

Of course, core offerings like good healthcare coverage and vacation are still important, but there are benefits that have a direct impact on daily stress reduction and productivity that you may not have considered. Read on for a list of company benefits that can make a difference:

1. Flexible work arrangements

The traditional 9-5 workday–which originated with American labor unions in the 1800s and became widely adopted in the early 20th century–no longer meets the needs of the modern employee. While some employees may do their best work during those hours, many would be more productive starting their day earlier, later, or breaking up their tasks up into more manageable bursts of activity. A recent SHRM survey found that 52% of respondents had tried to negotiate more flexible work arrangements with their company, while a staggering 80% reported flexible work options would increase their company loyalty. There is also no magic to the 8 hour workday. Research shows that the average person is only productive for about 3-5 hours daily, with peaks in the mid-morning and late afternoon.

Flexibility in where employees work may be even more important. Even before the pandemic forced the majority of us to work from home, there were many reasons workers sought more flexibility in their work environment. Better work/life balance, time savings, reduced commuting stress, and avoiding office distractions are just some of the reasons why an employee might be more productive outside of the office. And companies are starting to take note - according to a survey of nearly 4,000 employers, 86% plan to continue offering remote work after the pandemic.

2. Learning opportunities

Providing your team with the opportunity to learn new skills or sharpen existing ones improves productivity and increases employee engagement. A recent report from The National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce revealed that investing in employee education increased productivity by 8.6% across all industries. Opportunities to learn also make employees feel valued, whether the topic relates specifically to their area of focus or provides more general information.

What does this benefit look like in practice? Depending on the size of your organization, it could be as significant as tuition reimbursement for higher education or as simple as providing your team with access to impactful webinars. For example, if your team subscribes to DashPass for Work, they have unlimited access to our library of dietitian-developed health and wellness webinars. In these webinars, your employees can learn things like how to order healthy meals, maintain healthy habits while working from home, and navigate restaurant menus to accommodate food allergies from our team of registered dietitians.

3. Team Events

Team-building events improve productivity by forging connections between coworkers and increasing employee engagement. Happy employees are productive employees, so organizing fun events outside of work serves both as a reward and a chance for your team members to connect and release stress. 

Think about when a new employee joins your organization - in the best companies, a manager or colleague organizes a team event to welcome the new hire. The reason for this is twofold - a team event gives the new employee an opportunity to get to know their teammates on a more personal level and helps prevent new job jitters from impairing work quality or productivity.


4. Family Care Assistance

Providing childcare assistance as a company benefit can significantly improve employee productivity while reducing absenteeism and turnover. Finding high-quality, reliable care can be an enormous source of stress for employees with children, and organizations that demonstrate consideration for their employees’ families will create a culture that allows them to better attract and retain top talent. 

A recent study found that employees using on-site childcare had higher performance and reduced absenteeism. While providing on-site care is not realistic for every company, partnering with local childcare centers to reduce tuition costs or even simply allowing for extra days off to handle lapses in childcare or emergencies can have similar benefits. The important thing is to foster a company culture that supports working parents.

5. Wellness programs

Many companies offer a stipend for gym memberships, but wellness programs that improve employee productivity go beyond that to focus more broadly on prevention, education, and behavior modification. Recent research has shown that employees who improve their health through corporate wellness programs increase productivity by ~10%. And this extends to direct cost savings for employers as well. One study found that employees who participated in a workplace wellness program saved an average of $353 or 10.3 productive hours per person annually.

A comprehensive workplace wellness program includes components that address nutrition, stress reduction, physical fitness, mental health services, and education programs, among others. Nutrition offerings can include connecting your employees to a registered dietitian, giving them the time to participate in our dietitian-developed health webinars, or providing healthy meals and snacks through DoorDash for Work products. Stress reduction and mental health benefits can include providing a subscription to mediation apps that promote stress relief or instituting a flexible PTO policy to help employees maintain a sense of balance. In a remote work environment, you might consider extending a gym membership stipend to include streaming services or home gym equipment. 

Not convinced? According to an HBR analysis of the hard return on employee wellness programs, a comprehensive and strategically-designed investment in employees’ physical, mental, and social health can have a return as high as 6:1. If you need help getting started, take a look at our checklist of everything to keep in mind when updating your employee wellness offerings.

6. Food benefits

While it could be included as part of a company wellness program, one oft-overlooked benefit that increases employee productivity on a daily basis is food. Healthy eating can raise productivity levels by up to 20% and, in a recent DoorDash for Work survey, 85% of respondents said regular food delivery would increase their overall job satisfaction. 

The same survey found that 57% of employees feel they are too busy to take a full hour lunch break, valuable time that increases productivity by enabling your team to refuel and reset. And working parents are having an even more difficult time - 53% report having made an error at work due to stress over preparing meals for their family. 

How can food benefits help, especially outside of the office? A DashPass for Work subscription helps offset the cost of food delivery from thousands of restaurants across DoorDash and Caviar by providing your team with unlimited free delivery fees and reduced service fees. Subscribers also have access to our Healthy Eats collection, a list of healthy restaurants curated by our in-house dietitians that makes finding healthy meals easier than ever. 

Want to do more? Check out the full suite of DoorDash for Work products - there is a meal solution to help increase productivity for every team, whether you’re working in the office or at home. And to learn more about what company benefits employees value most, download The State of Employee Benefits Report.


Anne Riggs, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian

Anne Riggs is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition. As a Nutrition Associate at DoorDash, she specializes in curating nutritious meals for corporate catering clients and launching health initiatives across DoorDash and Caviar products. Anne’s experience prior to DoorDash includes acute care, outpatient nutrition counseling, and corporate wellness. In her free time, you can usually find her trying new recipes or spending time outside with her husband, daughter, and crazy golden retriever.