November 24, 2021
More than half of the nation’s employers (53 percent) feel that they don’t know their employees even slightly well on a personal level, claims a new office worker survey.
The Lunch Break Bonding survey, conducted by Just Eat for Business, delves into office workers’ perception of social lunch breaks, scheduled meetings and team building events, and is paired with expert commentary on the importance of positive office relations at work.
The results were collated from over 200 UK-based organisations, and were segmented by role (executive, management, CEO), region, and business size. The survey claims that there’s a significant disconnect for over half of the nation’s business owners, which could have repercussions on team morale and productivity.
While 81 percent of office workers feel they know their colleagues moderately or extremely well, just 47 percent of employers can say the same – which, despite being a larger proportion than some may expect, does represent a 72 percent difference between the two roles.
The survey also suggests that employers want to improve this disconnect, as 97 percent of business owners said they would enjoy their workplace more with more frequent team building events – and also accounted for the majority that would see the biggest increase in enjoyment.
Similarly, 83 percent of management-level workers would enjoy their workplace more with more frequent team-building events, as well as 79 percent of executive-level employees.
It’s important that employers look to improve their relationship with employees via things like team building events and informal catch ups, in order to prevent a negative impact on workplace productivity and positivity, a leading expert reveals.
Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, comments on the study, saying: “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.
“You can’t make people engage. The best thing you can do as an organisation is to provide the opportunity”
“However, you can’t make people engage. The best thing you can do as an organisation is to provide the opportunity. 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.”
Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director of Just Eat for Business also commented on the findings, saying: “It’s encouraging to see that office workers at all levels are eager to increase the frequency and quality of team building activities, particularly given that many organisations are either heading back into the office, or learning to operate remotely.
“The study shows that team building events don’t have to be extensive or costly, as team lunches came out as the favourite activity. Corporate catering services are designed to make organising office lunches hassle-free, so it’s never been easier to provide regular opportunities for teams to socialise during the working week.”