Is there a connection between eating well and employee engagement? Absolutely!
With the title “Why lunch is important for you and your organization,” last month I gave a public talk about the importance of eating well on the job at the creative hub KultuuriKatel in Tallinn, Estonia.
In contemporary highly-demanding work culture, there’s a growing need to cultivate knowledge and put people and purpose at the forefront. With technology, work has changed and so has the way in which people interact with one another. Seeking more opportunities to come together for meaningful and purposeful activities is a day-to-day need. Not to mention a big opportunity for organizations.
I believe that each of us has the responsibility to create a sustainable way to work and live. And, that’s why I love to use a human-centered approach to create and deliver services, including workshops and talks.
So, I started by asking people to reflect on the incidence of eating in their daily life and at work. How many times do they eat? Do they eat at their desk? Or do they eat alone? And if they don’t, do they eat with their teammates? That way, we could have a rich conversation at the end.
I continued with a historical overview of eating on the job, from the industrial revolution to the productive 90s, until today. Then, I presented the latest research and relevant cultural references from Europe and North America. Finally, I introduced WE Factory’s own human-centered design approach to workplace eating and Meal at Work, the lunch format for organizations we pilot last November. You can read about the pilot and what we learned here.
The participants, an intimate group of people from a wide range of industries and professions like HR managers (like Tiina who I interviewed in our Workplace Wisdom series), web developers, food entrepreneurs, managers, and students, contributed to the conversation with their own experience, memories, challenges, and insights.
We tried to find definition of what eating culture on the job means now and tomorrow and the challenge of generational change
We discussed what the role of the lunch or coffee break is in open-space offices. Since worker might seek a moment for themselves, is there a better solution for conviviality than to eat together every day?
At WE Factory, we help organizations design their workplaces’ food culture to support people’s creative progress and wellbeing. Read more on Workplace. If you’re interested to book a talk for your company or event, please get in touch.