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Team bonding: introduce your office to potluck lunches!

Nidhi Thakur
17th Nov 2016
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Maintaining a healthy work culture, one that keeps the entire team motivated and enthused, can be a tough task. You see your employees going through their everyday tasks in a routine, and on the surface, everything might look happy and gay, but you never know when monotony can kick in and leave the entire system uninspired. You want your team to feel energised at all times, to enjoy what they’re doing and love working for you – and for this, we cannot lay enough emphasis on the need for recreational activities. While some offices go for activity outings, we actually have a simpler and cheaper alternative that can be just as rewarding.

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Eating together, either with catered food or team potlucks, is a tried and tested team-building exercise used across the world for decades. Bonding over shared meals is an activity well-endorsed by psychologists for better child development, stronger family ties and friendships – and the same could be the key to a happier office!

Potlucks at your workplace are easy to organise, they bring a feeling of commune and shared culture to the environment, and they are a good excuse for everyone to sit together and bond. And bonding over food is easily the best kind (try debating that!).

Eating meals together, as a team, not only has a positive impact on productivity and team dynamics, it also offers different verticals of your office a chance to interact with each other in an informal setup for the first time, especially in the case of large MNC’s. Take, for example, the office accountant and the graphic designer. Or the sales guy who’s almost always out of office. How often would they get to interact with the rest of the team, despite being part of the same organisation? Organised potluck lunches for the entire office help bridge these gaps and give everyone a chance to mingle with one another.

You can also spice things up and make it a happening event by choosing a theme – like culture day, invite a friend, book/movie discussion and so on. Remember to make it optional, so that no one feels like another unnecessary task is being forced upon them. Having an RSVP sheet could be a good step in this regard. Make time for a performance by the designer who moonlights as a guitarist, or a group dance from the office girls, or a mimicry act from the in-house comedian! Include the office boys and handymen into the activity and see how it makes everyone happy.

Just a small activity is enough to see the change in the overall enthusiasm and energy of the office. From planning what to cook to what one should wear, conversations will take a new turn, and you’ll see the office buzzing from the time of the announcement until the event! It can also be a great way for newbies to feel comfortable and at ease with the rest of the team.

For those who are unsure about this idea for any adverse effects it might have on your team productivity, we’ve done our research, and you should too!

In conclusion, I would like to point out one very important fact. This is the deciding force. More convincing than any research paper or analysis. This is the real, ultimate deal-breaker:

Your office is going to be flooded with yummy home-made FOOD for one whole day!

Do you still need another reason?

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