There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or so the old adage goes. More and more however workers are being treated to lunch, and their employers are reaping the benefits.
Team building is an elusive term in our work landscape but its importance is as strong as ever. The changing face of work in modern Australia is defined by its increasingly diverse workforce. More people than ever are participating in the workforce, but the increase in part-time or casual workers means that teams aren’t always working side by side. Oftentimes, departments do not have the opportunity to interact let alone collaborate. One solution that is being used to increase collaboration and team morale is regular team lunches, catered to the office and shared as a collective.
Lunchtime is an opportunity for employees to relax, refuel and mingle with their co-workers. Often, however, lunch breaks are sacrificed in favour of eating at the desk to complete tasks. This is a problem facing as it leads employees to feel overworked, stressed and in dire need of some social interaction. What companies have discovered is that by providing a regular catered lunch, not only do employees feel valued but their productivity and overall happiness increases. Catered lunches also present the opportunity for co-workers to build connections, which is especially pertinent with a high number of part-time or casual workers who may not otherwise have the chance to interact. What this ultimately leads to is cross-department collaboration and an increase in growth and success.
The act of bringing teams together can be a powerful thing. Employees agree too, with 60% claiming they feel more appreciated at work when they’re provided with food at the office. Your Private Chef is Melbourne’s leading corporate cater and understands the importance of building relationships through shared meals. They believe that corporate lunches can be turned into a team building tool that is cost-effective for employers. Here are some of the benefits of catered work lunches:
Stronger Team Relationships
Fostering working relationships is one of the main objectives of any company. It’s common knowledge that people work better together and regular lunches are an opportunity for employees to meet, connect and network. Office lunches provide the chance for people to interact about non-work related things and socialise in a casual, relaxed way. This, in turn, will lead to stronger working relationships as 70% of people feel having friendships at work make it more enjoyable. Meals are traditionally communally shared affairs and lunch shouldn’t be any different. The act of sharing a meal is sure to make a team feel closer, that’s why many caterers recommend a shared platter or lunch buffet if you’re looking to strengthen team relationships.
Improves Employee Satisfaction
Serving your employees lunch will also serve their sense of worth and value in their role. When employees needs are fostered, people are more likely to feel satisfied with their job. Feeling appreciated is a huge factor in today’s work landscape, and something as small as a catered lunch every once in a while will remind your employees that you care about them. It’s been proven that when people are made to feel valued in their job, employee absenteeism goes down. Absenteeism costs the Australian economy $44 billion annually but can be counteracted with positive employer-employee relationships. Part of nurturing this relationship means providing regular incentives and encouragement. Surprise your team with a Food Station at your next meeting and watch their jaws drop!
Shape Company Culture
Your employees are your most valuable asset. They each inject their own personalities into the company to form culture, enthusiasm and pride. When employees are proud to represent the company they work for, they become walking, talking brand endorsements. Company culture is largely shaped by the way people interact and communicate with one another. Culture stems from the top and must be something a company invests in. Regular catered lunches are instrumental in building and maintain a company culture.
To lighten up the mood of the office, consider hosting a themed lunch that reflects the values of your employees. For example, if sustainability is something your company preaches then a ‘Go Green’ lunch spread might be a great experience for your employees and will reinforce your company values. Alternatively, if you’re all about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, pulling your employees away from their desks for a wine and cheese Tower on a Friday afternoon may be the answer. Not only do these occasions promote a healthy work environment but they express an organisational culture that prospective clients and employees will be attracted to. In fact, 45% of people said a free lunch would influence their decision to accept a job.
Corporate lunches are a valuable team building activity that promotes collaboration and increases productivity. Enlisting a caterer to take care of the lunch will ensure the freshness and quality of the meal, it will also allow you to have some fun with the theme and tone of the occasion. Team lunches are a cost-effective tool that will work to reinforce the companies culture and express to employees how much their work is recognised, appreciated and valued.
One of the blunders many companies make when providing lunches is that they fail to make them interesting or accessible to everybody. Corporate lunches are the latest HR trend that every company should take stock from. It turns out, there is such a thing as a free lunch and it’s here to stay. The new saying goes ‘feed your team and shape your company culture’.