Are virtual lunches the answer to better collaboration?

To further collaboration during the current WFH situation, a leader is hosting more virtual team lunches. Apparently, people bond well over zoom and a sandwich.

A few Global colleagues are very enthusiastic about virtual lunches. And he thinks it’s a great idea. e wants to try out the idea with his team now. He hasn’t really thought it through though – will it work in his part of the world, for his team? In what context did it work for his colleagues? And how do we measure the success in the first place?

Lunch is a personal event for most people. Some friends prefer a solo lunch, reading a book, or listening to their favorite music. Some colleagues love to eat in silence, savoring every bite. Others love fun conversations. And lunchtime is “me” time. Would we be able to find a happy balance that everyone likes? I am not sure. Lunches are always personal.

This boss has good intentions, and maybe a quarterly get-together would work. A celebratory lunch every quarter could raise motivation and perhaps even build some team morale. But I am not sure frequent, forced lunches are a good idea.

Some other ideas to make virtual lunches work – but do we need them?

A peer suggests we poll the team for their preferences. That should help us take the right action.Here’s the thing though – we need to be open to discard the idea if the results advise us to. In many cases, we decide on something (like the virtual team lunch) and use the survey more as a validation exercise – it’s truly an exercise in confirmation bias!

Here’s a thought. Why not let people enjoy their time the way they see fit? The best conversations happen naturally. If you like, you can let your team know you are available for a virtual lunch. Let them decide if they want to take you on the offer?

What do you think? Are frequent virtual lunches the answer to fostering collaboration?

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One comment

  1. Good idea Subra. The bonding over food is the best trust we can build as a team and that’s why team lunches treats get good success..

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