On Teambuilding through Eating

It somehow feels suitable to talk about eating just after Christmas and in the middle of the holidays, when we tend to eat…a lot!

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the fantastic Harvard Business Review (HBR) on why the best team building happens while sharing meals and eating together. This resonated with me for one reason: It put words and thoughts on something I have felt for quite some time.

When I moved in to my latest offices in January of 2015 I happily noted the family-feeling around the office. Being a smaller co-working space (with fixed tenants) you quite never know, but in this case it was the social norm to have coffee together in the mornings, eat lunch together at noon and perhaps another cup of coffee in the afternoons.

Why am I sharing this? Because I’ve been to other offices and co-working spaces where the family-feeling simply doesn’t exist. Yet, here you felt like part of the family in an incredibly short amount of time. I testament at least part of this to the fact that we are sharing meals together (the other being that we’re all a nice group of people).

As the HBR article outlines, sharing meals is something intimate and socially very powerful. In essence, what we are (largely unknowingly) doing is creating a powerful familiar bond. Now, while this is individual small companies bonding together, the lesson can be learnt for other companies too. Sharing meals is clearly a very powerful team building thing, that naturally takes place every single day. Use it!