Bond with your team over lunch

May 20, 2021
Reading Time: 2 minutes
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One of our favorite parts of the work day is lunch.

Before the pandemic, we spent a lot of time thinking about office culture and team dynamics. And one of the decisions we made early on was that our team would eat lunch together. Every day.

The rules were simple: get away from your desk, no work-talk allowed.

We spent time laughing, telling stories, and, most importantly, listening to one another—getting to know each other as people, not just colleagues.

Our daily lunches became a core component of how we built relationships and strengthened our team. We got to know each other well because we invested the time to get to know each other well. It was a conscious choice—one that has paid off a million times over.

Over the last 15 months, we have had to rethink how we connect with our teammates. Daily lunches aren’t a great option anymore (Zoom lunches just don’t quite do it…though we have certainly tried!), so we’ve resorted to no-work-talk text threads and the occasional virtual happy hour.

It’s not the same. But we’re trying. 

We don’t know what the future of work will hold. Our team works remarkably well remotely—and we’ve been able to hire people from all over the country in this weird season. There are definite benefits to the all-virtual work day. 

But we miss lunch.

We miss telling silly jokes and rolling our eyes at one another. We miss the built-in, very intentional break in the middle of the day. We miss hearing about our teammates’ weird hobbies and childhood memories and the shows they binged last weekend.

We are definitely getting closer to being able to sit around the table with one another again, but we aren’t fully there yet. And it’s super likely that we’ll never go all the way back to the way things were.

So it’s time to get creative. How have you been intentional about finding time to bond with your team? What great ideas do you have for how to connect—even when we’re physically apart? If you have ideas, let us know (we’re genuinely curious!).

And when (if) you go back to the office, consider adding lunch to your team’s agenda. If your experience is anything like ours, it will make your team, your relationships, and, yes, even your work better. 

Allison Kooser

Allison is Chief Storyteller at Swell+Good, where she partners with amazing organizations to help them bring their stories to life. She is an avid traveler, an expert takeout orderer, and a big believer in curiosity and kindness. She tries to learn something new every day, and she reads, writes, and paddleboards more than the average human.
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