The Lunch Break Bonding survey, conducted by Just Eat for Business, examines office workers’ perception of social lunch breaks, scheduled meetings and team building events, and is paired with expert commentary on the importance of office relations at work.
This is a particularly timely study given the run-up to the Christmas period, which will see many workers across the nation unite for their office parties.
The survey reveals that a whopping 82% of office workers in the UK want their employer to hold more frequent team-building events to boost workplace satisfaction.
The results were collated from over 200 UK-based organizations, and were segmented by role (executive, management, CEO), region, and business size.
The survey shows that after 18 months of sporadically working in the office and remotely, for many organizations, workers are desperate to reunite with their team. 75% say they would enjoy their workplace more with more regularly-scheduled team building events.
Team building outdoor activities.
It seems that those in larger organizations are particularly keen to get to know colleagues better, as those in organizations of 300+ accounted for the highest proportion (93%) of those who’d be happier with more frequent socializing opportunities.
And as it seems most workers would enjoy their workplaces more with increased team social events, it makes sense that the most important outcome for the majority of workers (62%) is to create a friendlier work atmosphere.
When it comes to how workers like to socialize, the survey found team lunches were the favorite work perk (40%), followed by escape rooms (31%), team vs team competitions (31%), lunch & learns (26%), mixology classes (21%) and quiz or trivia nights (20%).
For most organizations, team building events are scheduled to take place once a week, with the ideal day and time to organize an activity coming out as Friday evenings.
More than half of office workers (51%) said they were less likely to attend a team building event if they’re required to pay for all or a portion of the cost. Within teams, it’s management-level employees that are the most put off by having to contribute financially.
Team building events can improve a workplace
Another key aspect of the study was understanding how team building events can improve a workplace. For CEOs and business owners, the most important outcome of team building events was creating a friendlier work atmosphere (67%), while executives valued showcasing company culture.
“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,” Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, commented on the study. “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 organization.”
“However, you can’t make people engage,” Robin warns. “The best thing you can do as an organization 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 organized 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 organizations 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 favorite activity. Corporate catering services are designed to make organizing office lunches hassle-free, so it’s never been easier to provide regular opportunities for teams to socialize during the working week.”
Survey findings infographic
Other key findings of the survey included the most important aspects of an activity, who is responsible for organizing them, and how well workers feel they know their colleagues. Check out the infographic below to learn more.