Are you fond of taking your lunch in the privacy of your office or cubicle? Perhaps you should consider changing that up a bit in favor of eating lunch with your coworkers. Several studies show that shared meals in places of work have a positive impact on you, not just as an individual but on the entire company as well. Eating at your desk is indeed easy, quick, and you might even get some work done in between. These benefits, however, pale in comparison to what you’ll get from leaving your working area and joining your coworkers in the cafeteria.
Here are some of the reasons why you should eat lunch with your coworkers:
1. It’s a chance to relax
Stepping away from your desk to have lunch with your coworkers gives you the opportunity to relax and take a break from your work. This is a much better idea than trying to get work done during lunchtime. After you’ve taken a break, you’ll come back more refreshed and with better focus.
2. It builds social relationships
When you’re stuck at your desk all day, you’ll rarely get to know anything about your coworkers beyond their name tags and roles at the office. All your relations will be work-related. To form friendships and more personal relationships, try having lunch together. During this time, steer off work-related topics and get to know what their interests outside work are. You might even find yourself bonding with coworkers with whom you have common interests and hobbies. When you form friendships at work, the workplace becomes a better place.
3. It brightens your mood and increases your happiness
When you spend time engaging with your coworkers over a meal, the frustrations of work lift away. This interaction can brighten busy afternoons and make the workday seem shorter. Working in an environment where you’re surrounded by people you can easily relate to betters your work experience.
4. It brings the team together
When you and your coworkers create social relationships, your work relationship also improves. Having a personal connection enhances co-operation when carrying out projects. Communication will be more open and lead to increased productivity. In short, people who spend personal time together work better together, resulting in better group performances.
5. It’s a networking opportunity
When you keep to yourself at your desk, you’ll rarely get chances to interact with coworkers who are outside your department. Eating lunch together means you get to share with various people and, in the process, exchange ideas. You’ll be exposed to different perspectives that might even help with your work. When you network in this way, your workplace becomes a familiar place that you no longer dread to get to every morning.
6. It improves your social skills
Perhaps your desk is your comfort zone and you’d rather eat alone with no one to bother you. However, stepping into your office cafeteria for lunch will help you learn how to relate and deal with the people around you. Once you form relations with your coworkers outside the office, those inside will just fall into place.
Sharing a meal is always more fulfilling. Forget about the piles of work waiting for you and enjoy those few minutes surrounded by friendly banter.