The majority of UK workers (82%) want their workplace to provide more frequent team-building events, a new survey has revealed.
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 reveals that – after 18 months of sporadically working in the office and remotely, for many organisations – workers are desperate to reunite with their team, as 75% say they would enjoy their workplace more with more regularly-scheduled team building events.
It seems that those in larger organisations are particularly keen to get to know colleagues better, as those in organisations of 300+ accounted for the highest proportion (93%) of those who’d be happier with more frequent socialising 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 socialise, the survey found team lunches were the favourite 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 organisations, team building events are scheduled to take place once a week, with the ideal day and time to organise 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.
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 was creating a friendlier work atmosphere (67%), while executives valued showcasing company culture.
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.
“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.”
Other key findings of the survey included the most important aspects of an activity, who is responsible for organising them, and how well workers feel they know their colleagues.
To see the full results from the Lunch Break Bonding survey, please visit https://business.just-eat.co.uk/blog/lunch-bonding