Team Building: Lunch Break Bonding | Just Eat for Business
Just Eat for Business’s Lunch Break Bonding uses survey data to compare employer and employees’ perception of common team-building events.
For many of us, our colleagues are the people we interact with the most on a daily basis throughout the working week - but how well do office workers really know each other? And, in what scenarios do we prefer to get to know each other better?
With more organisations thinking about returning to the office, we wanted to uncover how workers feel about bonding with their colleagues and employer through organised team building activities - whether that’s corporate catering in London, an outdoor excursion in the countryside, or local social events.
Just Eat for Business’ Lunch Break Bonding study surveyed employers and employees from over 200 organisations of all sizes, to reveal their attitudes towards common team building activities, in-office interactions, and general workplace relations.
Top Team Building Activities
When it comes to which team building activities prove the most popular among office workers, it’s team lunches that took the top spot, with 40% of survey respondents saying it’s their favourite way to bond with colleagues. Escape rooms came closely behind (31%), followed by team vs team competitions (31%) and lunch & learns (26%).
The survey also asked how often organisations hold team building events, with the results showing that - of those who regularly organise activities - the majority do so once a week (23%). According to employees, the ideal time to organise a team building event is on Friday evening (36%), while the least popular time is a Thursday morning (9%).
Interestingly, the survey also found that more than half of workers (51%) are less likely to attend a team building event if they’re required to pay for some or all of the cost.
Another key aspect of the study was determining how employer and employee attitudes towards team bonding differ. The survey showed that for employers, the most important aspect of a team building activity was the level of enjoyment (58%) as well as the quality of the activity (58%). A quarter of employers also felt the activity cost is the most important - which makes sense, given workers are less likely to attend if required to contribute to the price.
As for employees, the team bonding potential of an activity proved the most important (48%), while the quality of the activity came in second (47%) and the level of enjoyment (40%) followed closely behind.
For Susan Melony, Editor in Chief at Unbreak Yourself believes the most important aspect of team building events is employee engagement. She says: “Increased commitment and engagement of employees within the company will be one of the top benefits of team building. That’s because not only do they encourage having fun together and relieving stress - they also naturally allow for more time to socialise and build strong relationships.
“This is also true across different levels within the organisation. A good employer-employee relationship is essential to achieve success. Organising team-building activities help teams to share the same vision, values and principles, while a failure to do so can lead to disorganised and ineffective workflow within a hostile work environment.”
General Office Relations
While team building events are clearly important for colleague bonding, the survey also looked to uncover what general office relations look like on a daily basis, and what employees would look to improve in their workplace. The survey found that most workers speak to their coworkers on a daily basis (43%), with two fifths (40%) feeling that they know their colleagues really well.
When it comes to how we interact with the people we work with, casual catch-ups proved to be the most regular method (58%), while social events (53%), virtual meetings (29%) and scheduled meetings (18%) were also common scenarios for colleagues to bond in.
Lunch Break Bonding also gave employers and employees the opportunity to say what they’d like to see change in the workplace as a result of team building events. Most (62%) would like to see a friendlier work atmosphere, while 82% said they would enjoy the office more if team building activities occurred more frequently.
For Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, the ideal outcome of team building activities is a more united workforce - particularly for young workers. He says: “This whole process of creating a bonded community depends on engagement in various activities, one of which is eating together, and that just creates a sense of belonging. It has huge knock-on consequences for your health, physical health and mental well-being, by virtue of forming friendships. In addition, it fosters a sense of loyalty to the organisation.
“The one thing that really worries me is this pandemic of loneliness among the twenty-somethings, and this has been on the increase for a couple of decades. If they can’t integrate quickly into some sort of social network they’re going to be much more prone to depression and it will make them much more susceptible to a variety of diseases. The whole system then spirals downwards.
“Over and over again you find casual opportunities to interact with people and create novel solutions. You just can’t legislate for that. You can’t make people engage. The best thing you can do as an organisation is to provide the opportunity. Sooner or later one person will voice a problem, which will subsequently be solved by another department or person because of that interaction.
“If you have people in different canteens, no canteen at all, or people eat at their desk, then they’re never going to meet. Put simply, you have to provide the opportunity for organic meetings at lunchtime through organised events.”
What’s evident from the survey is that both employees and employers view team building activities as a way to improve colleague relations, create a more positive working atmosphere and encourage cohesive working between teams. It’s also important that these activities are easily accessible - whether that’s through cost or the time of week they’re organised for - and engaging.
At Just Eat for Business, we encourage organisations to provide a way for their teams to connect and bond in the workplace by arranging an office lunch - which also came out as the most popular team building activity.
Interested in organising corporate catering for your next team building event? Get in touch with our team to find out how we can meet your requirements or, head to the website and take a look at all the food options in your area.
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