Real-Value Benefits of Lunches With Your Co-Workers

July 15, 201610:37 am1576 views

Believe it or not, your weekday lunch could not just recharge your mind and body, but it could also refuel your careers. Do not believe me on this far-fetched statement, then this interesting piece that takes you through the benefits of sharing lunches with coworkers is a must-read.

You are already at the office since 8 o’clock, wrestling with the enormous piles of workload, calls from customers, responding to emails from your supervisors, drafting reports and lot more to be accomplished for the day. As the clock strikes mid-day, the alarming tummy starts roaring for some cravings and yummy food to refuel and work much harder.

While none of us, would like to share those blissful moments of getting your cravings for the day met with coworkers, whom you particularly dislike. However, we give you some second thoughts to prod on, before you completely dump the idea of sharing lunches with coworkers. Now there’s a food for thought.

If you are someone like me, who rarely accompanies and shares nice lunches with colleagues, then perhaps you could rethink if joining them could help discover the hidden benefits at work. Here’s more to those just lunches and boring gossips you possibly evade at the cafeteria.

See also: 3 Reasons Company Outings are Important to Keep Employees Motivated

A new Cornell University study reveals that eating meals together can boost people’s productivity levels at work. Also having a nice lunch with colleagues may help build camaraderie and foster deeper work relationships.

During these blissful breaks, while discussions might not actually help resolve all issues on the work front, but you might feel more relaxed and relieved when you share. This could help you cope with pressures during the next strenuous hours of the day.

Firefighters who eat together, for example, perform better together in their life-or-death line of work than those who don’t.

“There’s a different kind of intimacy that comes with sharing food and drink with somebody,” says Kevin Kniffin, visiting assistant professor of organizational behavior and leadership at Cornell University who authored the study. “The kind of bonding that can come through eating together has value in terms of cohesiveness in the work team.”

As a HR manager, having a shared lunch collectively with the coworkers might help your company in developing a good teamwork spirit.

Lunches With Coworkers Boosts Productivity Levels

After studying firehouses for 15 months, Kniffin and his colleagues found that firefighters who ate together worked better together. “Those who don’t fight fires each day can still take away some lessons from the study”, says Kniffin.

In this virtual era, employees frequently pick up monitors and smartphones as their best partners to talk about an issue at work, rather than their real colleagues. Technology, indeed, provides much better support and more effective results to decrease workload, but only if all of it can be resolved over those virtual texts and calls, then would we still need to meet people everyday and care for real human interactions?

Lunch break is a great time to refresh, relax and feel good. Leave your tasks on mind at your work desk, take a real break and start socializing with the people around at work,  you might feel more motivated to finish the rest of the day.

This helps create a collaborative working environment that increases productivity levels at work and prevent burnouts.

Effective Networking Tool

It might be impossible for you to know well colleagues working in other departments, but lunch time is the perfect hour to network. The lunch hour presents a great networking opportunity to know senior leaders and departmental heads on a personal individual level.

When you know more people in the office, you get to understand different perspectives on company’s wide goals or brainstorm together for solutions with someone from a very different background.

Helps Create Happy Workplaces

Lunch breaks creates spirit of togetherness in a team and is a great time to forget all workloads for sometimes and just unwind between work. Everybody, regardless of their job role and duration with the company can engage in a casual conversation to foster harmonious workplace culture.

The happiness shared, flows naturally to every team member and this could bring about a friendly work environment that everybody wishes for!

However, it’s always wise to stay off the office gossip and trash talk to a bare minimum at lunch, especially if you’re eating in a communal space, chances of being overheard by your seniors hold highest probability.

Next read: 5 Types of Annoying Coworkers and How to Deal with Them