I was chatting with a close friend and she was telling me how she and her co-workers don’t usually have lunch together. She said that even though there is a large lunchroom, people choose to eat at their desk. I thought this was interesting because, as I reflect on my current work environment, most of my colleagues and I eat together.
Of course, I get it, not everyone gets the opportunity to sit down and eat at the same time especially if you are not in an office environment— something I can relate to when I used to work in the food industry. Though, when there was a chance, I would most definitely try to.
From personal experiences, I have found five benefits to eating lunch with your co-workers.
Lunching is Networking
Having lunch with your co-workers is an excellent way to build friendly relationships and connections. It is a great time to socialize and gain insights on the company’s challenges, growth, and upcoming changes. Sometimes your co-workers can share thoughts and innovative ideas that could help the business. By building a positive relationship with one another, people will be more willing to cooperate and support each other. In my previous role, I had lunch with my colleagues from different departments almost daily, and, by doing so, I established a positive relationship with many individuals. So when I needed a report this one time from one of the departments, I got it without a fuss and sooner than expected.
If upper management is having lunch in the same room as you, don’t miss out! This is a great way to get to know each other on a more personal level. It is also a great time to leave a good an impression with your bosses because it can lead you to possible future opportunities within the company. Having the skillset to do your job is a requirement, but being the right person for the company is also important. I was working as a temp for my current company for about 1 year and 9 months and now I work there permanently. I have expressed my interest in wanting to work for the company for some time and when there was a vacant position, the management team approached me with an offer ready for me to sign. I would like to say these lunches have helped me land a job with a great organization.
Your co-workers will most definitely add more valuable knowledge to your professional and personal life. Lunch is an excellent time to socialize and get updates on current events. Sometimes shared ideas are generated and can be very beneficial for business improvements. Depending on the work environment, if you have a very diverse group you can gain valuable insights in life.
The majority of us who work full time job can understand that working long hours can be mentally and emotionally draining. By having a set lunch time with your coworkers, this can be a much anticipated and needed mental health break. This benefits the business environment because it encourages better cooperation with one another. Additionally, breaks give people time to re-energized which result in better productivity.
Makes You Happier
We are humans and we need time to disengage from work as well. Having lunch with your co-workers will allow you to connect with people on a personal level and “let you be you” for a little while. Regardless of job role, people can engage in more casual conversations which leads to happiness. When people are happier, they become more relaxed which helps to foster a friendly work environment.
So, the next time you decide to eat at your desk, try grabbing lunch with your co-workers instead. I mean, majority of us spend at least 40 hours a week with the same people, it is like our second home. Use your lunch time to interact with others and take a break. At the very end of the day, you get paid to relax and reenergize!