However you prefer it, the celebration of Mardi Gras brings about the perfect opportunity to get together and eat a pancake (or ten!). Mardi Gras is the last day before Lent begins in the lead up to Easter. All around the globe, people celebrate it by filling up on rich foods and tasty treats. Here at RG, we love any excuse to get together at lunchtime and enjoy some good food!
It’s not just the delicious toppings that get us excited. Removing our headphones, breaking away from our desks and sitting together to eat is always refreshing. By celebrating Mardi Gras in the office this year, we created a space for our people to relax and talk to colleagues that they wouldn’t normally engage with day-to-day – creating important social bonds. And delicious pancakes, of course.
Here’s why it’s a good idea to organize lunchtime socials with your staff:
1. It boosts productivity
No one can work without a break every now and then, but it’s become increasingly common within offices for staff to eat lunch at their desks – or to forget to take a lunch break at all! This can lead to burnout and cause a serious drop in productivity. By organizing a get-together over lunch with your team, you can ensure that they all get a decent break and rediscover the value of taking time out.
It can be difficult for your staff to bond with you – or each other – in a high-pressure working environment. By removing the professional constraints from your interactions, you can get to know each other properly. Getting to know each other on a more personal level, learning about each other’s likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests means you’ll be able to understand each other as people.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of eating the same thing every lunchtime, rather than making the most of your break and preparing a proper meal for yourself. Fast food might be a quick lunch fix, but it doesn’t rate highly on any wellbeing agenda. Eating together can encourage people to try new foods, share recipes and enjoy food for the pleasure that it is – rather than scoffing down a packet sandwich as quickly as possible before reattaching their fingertips to the keyboard once more.
4. It helps with communications
When you’ve got a social event to show off about, it can really boost your organization’s presence on social media. Encourage your staff to share pictures of your lunch social online, using a particular hashtag. This will enable your external audience to see your fantastic company culture. This works for blogs, too – if you have an event to write about, it can make a really interesting and insightful blog post.
You could also use your lunchtime social to promote internal communications, by placing leaflets on tables or posting communications at lunchtime as conversation pieces. Sit with your employees and listen to the discussion happening. They’re more likely to be open and honest in a relaxed environment than they are at their workstation.
5. It makes people happy
Humans have always bonded over food. We may have evolved in many other ways, but food will always be one thing that brings us together. Organizing a meal in itself is a great way to bond and strengthen relationships. Eating food together is a great way to relax and an opportunity to talk about the good and bad of the day.
Your lunch break is the perfect time to have a good giggle with your colleagues and friends. They put those work woes into perspective and give you the outlet you need to destress, offload and go back to work feeling fresh, focused and full of energy.
So, why not give it a go? We hope that just like us, with our office pancake day, you have a flippin’ excellent time!
As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.