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August 2023 Wellness: Let’s Do Lunch!

August 2023 Wellness: Let’s Do Lunch!

| July 25, 2023

August is here. It’s the hottest month of the year and the festivities are finally beginning to wind down. Summer is a time that we as a society like to socialize. The average American is 31 percent more social overall in the Summer than they are in the Winter. When it’s warm and sunny, we tend to spend more time with family and friends embarking on spontaneous road trips or hosting an annual family reunion. So before we lose our desire to engage with others, I thought it might be beneficial to add our colleagues to the mix by “challenging” you all to ask a coworker to lunch. (Sadlier, 2019)

Okay, the first hurdle we may have to overcome as a group is are we even taking a lunch break?  If you’re anything like me, I have been known to pull a granola bar and a piece of string cheese out of my lunch bag so I can continue to work at my desk rather than stepping away. Is that my guilty consciousness at work calling me lazy for taking a break or just an overinflated ego reinforcing some erroneous belief that I don’t have the “bandwidth” to take a lunch? The truth is that without adequate breaks from work, employee productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance begin to suffer. The result? Job burnout and chronic stress. So…note to self, take a lunch. And for my employers out there, you may also want to start encouraging employees to take a breather and recharge. (Kohll, 2018)

For those of you who do take a lunch today but prefer catching up on Instagram or personal emails or binge-watching Netflix during lunch, this will feel like a waste of your time. Chatting with colleagues is what you do during the first five minutes of meetings or at the water cooler. Embarking on this challenge will require a change in mindset. By eating alone, workers miss out on the benefits of camaraderie, increased cooperation and performance. In addition, they tend to be less satisfied at work. Socializing increases worker well-being. If for no other reason, everyone in your office or workplace chose to work there—you already have something in common! (Newman, 2016)

Eating lunch with your coworkers may seem silly or even juvenile to suggest as a wellness challenge -- but hear me out. Eating with your colleagues offers more benefits than you think. In the words of a visiting professor at Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Economics and Management, "Eating together has a long primal tradition as a kind of social glue.”  It’s a means to build community among a group of people who coexist physically or virtually with shared goals, but who may never actually cross paths outside of an annual team meeting or zoom call. Employees who share lunch tend to have higher productivity and morale. Not only that, but employees will be more inclined to stay at a company longer when they cultivate care and relationships with the people they work with. (Conway, 2023)

The incentive is there for both the employer and the employee. For this month’s “Let’s Do Lunch” Challenge, invite a coworker to lunch, ideally someone you don’t correspond with every day. Not ready for that? Then organize a department lunch so your team can learn something new about one another or catch up on their highlights of the Summer. Maybe organize a company-wide lunch and ask everyone to bring their favorite barbecue dish. Sit outside at picnic tables or on blankets under a tree.  Step away from your office or cubicle or workstation and get to know who you work with.  So many companies preach the benefits of building relationships with their clients or customer base, but are we giving enough attention to building in-house relationships as well?  Let’s find out…let’s do lunch!

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Conway, C. (2023, February 21). Lunch Is Served! Workplace Meals Improve Productivity. Retrieved from

Kohll, A. (2018, May 29). New Study Shows Correlation Between Employee Engagement And The Long-Lost Lunch Break. Retrieved from

Newman, J. (2016, March 28). Eating lunch with colleagues can boost productivity. Retrieved from

Sadlier, A. (2019, May 31). Study reveals why we’re more social in the summer. Retrieved from www.,