It’s easy to eat lunch at your desk and be perfectly OK with it. In fact, studies show that over half of the American population eats lunch alone. It’s quick, easy and doesn’t require much effort. But what is it doing for your well-being?
When you take the time to step away from your desk and eat lunch with your coworkers, it can boost your performance and productivity. Employees will want to stay at a company longer when they’ve cultivated relationships and real friendships. Your company may even see better retention, which can lead to better business results.
Need more convincing? Here are four reasons you should chow down with your colleagues:
1. It boosts productivity
You shouldn’t spend five straight hours sitting at your desk. A lack of movement and communication can cause a significant impact on your well-being at work. Make an effort to set aside at least 20 to 30 minutes to grab a coworker and eat lunch away from your desk. Even better, schedule a weekly team lunch to get out of the office and eat at a new place.
If you set a designated time for your team to eat lunch together, it’s more likely to happen. And this scheduled time allows each team member to take a step back and switch gears during the work day, discover the benefit of breaks and ultimately feel refreshed.
2. It builds better relationships
It’s important to maintain a culture of inclusiveness and trust. And that requires relationships within the workplace. When you eat lunch with your coworkers, in return you’ll get a closer team. It’s an effortless and natural team building exercise. But it’s important you don’t talk shop. Break down the barriers of work-related topics and dig deeper. Get to know your coworkers on a personal level by learning about their interests outside of work, like their family or big life events coming up.
At Limeade, we hold random lunches with coworkers where you’re paired up by random with a LimeMate and you have lunch together. This allows employees across the organization to connect and create a more meaningful relationship that can carry into daily work.
3. It makes leaders more accessible
Ever wondered what it would be like to have lunch with your CEO? At Limeade, any employee has the opportunity to eat lunch once a month with Limeade CEO, Henry. A monthly brown-bag allows Henry to have set aside time on his schedule to spend more quality time with employees in the office and have an open discussion around key topics that employees might want to talk about, but haven’t been able to.
These cross-functional lunches on a regular basis make leaders more accessible and foster an environment of transparency, offer innovation and result in a better sense of connectedness.
4. It supports well-being improvement
When you step away from your desk, interact with coworkers and take a mental break, you’re improving your well-being. Not only does lunch with your coworkers allow you to chat and catch up, it can encourage you to try new foods, eat healthier and take the time to eat your entire meal rather than scarf down snacks between meetings. Once a week, challenge yourself by prepping your meals ahead of time so that you can eat healthy at work.
Take the chance to break away from your desk and get up and move. Even if you just head downstairs to the building café, a new setting can be just the refresh you need to get through the busy afternoon.