exploring possibilities for an engaging and productive workplace

Thank you to Nina at Secretariaint for the inspiration behind this post.

Andrew Kjerulf has dubbed himself the "Chief Happiness Officer" and writes about happiness at work in  his books and his blog. He starts each week with a Monday Morning Tip and this week's tip is simple: invite a co-worker to lunch. He recommends going with someone you don't know very well and NOT talking about work. 

This goes hand in hand with a recent New York Times article investigating, "Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier." The article suggests people with sisters are happier and explains the reason is they talk more. They don't talk about feelings, emotions, or anything in particular. They're simply happier because they talk more. This is all about quantity not quality.

In my post Joy at Work, I explained a little bit about happiness at work. It turns out that a happy workplace is a productive workplace and we just learned that talking paves a path toward happiness.  

Talking ---> Happiness ---> Productivity

Wow! Happiness and a productive workplace may seem more complicated than lunch or a conversation, but these are great places to start. So take your breaks, eat your lunch, and strike up a conversation while you're at it.

Me and my sister, having lunch and talking about nothing

6 responses to "Take Lunch and Talk About Nothing"

  1. Check out these refreshing photos (about the middle of the first set) of work environments! http://fotoweekdc.org/media/2010/awards/index.html

    Suzanne Pinckney

  2. Thanks Suzanne, love these


  3. Nice Bria! I love the invitation to make one's relationship to work more than just work! I've found that these kinds of encounters can really build relationships that support work getting done, and that the more we can recognize our coworkers as people, the more productive we can be together!


  4. I wish I could remember who told me about their job where the company encouraged lunch meet-ups (maybe it was even you) between co-workers (in different departments). The idea was to allow cross-departmental relationship building. I thought it was a great way to develop a sense of team and help people break out of the cycle of eating only with people they knew.


  5. Great post! I have seen more companies encouraging employees/managers to invite new hires to lunch to encourage bonding. When I interned at ChildServ, I created an onboarding guide that set specific time frames (after hiring) in which the director should take an individual to lunch, the manager should take an individual lunch and when to have a team lunch.

    However, I think it must be continued after hiring and this is where the behavior discontinues. Although we may be busy, we need to remember that we need to make an effort to build relationships.

    Ian Mondrow

  6. Ian, that's great, building in a process where new employees can meet their peers. I wonder what it would take to get managers to encourage lunches without needing a guide? How to foster relationships amongst current employees, especially inter-departmental relationships. Any thoughts?


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