HR trend: School style communal lunch tables

Could encouraging employees to eat together result in better cooperation and productivity?

HR trend: School style communal lunch tables

HR professionals might be missing a key ingredient when it comes to boosting workplace productivity. According to recent research by US-based Sociometric Solutions, getting staff to eat together can help boost the bottom line.

Sociometric tracked the behaviour of staff at an online travel agency using sensors built into the standard office corporate ID card. Staff could choose to sit at a table for four, or a larger table catering to twelve people.

The findings were surprising. The staff who sat at the larger table for lunch were found to be 36 percent more likely to communicate with someone they’d eaten with than those who sat at the smaller table.

“Eating together is a powerful untapped tool to encourage cooperation and collaboration,” Sociometrics chief Ben Waber told Entrepreneur. People sitting together create a common language and find it easier to communicate and collaborate, he added.
 
-Joshua Gliddon

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