Skip Team Meetings. Eat Lunch Together.

The power of the ‘working lunch’ to improve company culture.

Startups are always thinking of ways to be more productive and improve their companies. Of course, first things first, you must have a great, really great, product that solves a problem. After that, there are many other aspects of your company you can look at, such as how to work better as a team.

Companies are always looking at ways they can impact the culture of their workplace, with the hope that fostering the right company culture will in turn lead to happier employees and better results. One way to do this is to have a ‘working lunch’ to improve employee relations, generate great ideas with increased collaboration and improve the overall company culture.

At Wideo, we need to brainstorm a lot. That is why the working lunch is an important component of our workdays. When establishing the working lunch within your company culture, it’s important to set the tone. Present the idea as a light and fun get-together that is still effective and thoughtful; a perfect blend of a meeting and a lunch. The idea is not to simply sit in front of your computer and discuss ideas, but rather to be engaged with one another as you discuss different challenges or opportunities in front of the company or department. This is as much about fostering dialogue within the company and improving working relationships as it is about the specific brainstorming session.

What is the working lunch?

The working lunch is the group lunch where you share your day, thoughts, and ideas with your staff — and hear from them as well. This is such a valuable time, because of it’s midday time frame and aura of enriching energy for the extra push to get through the day.

This can be an opportunity to brainstorm possible solutions to problems or challenges the company is facing, or it could also be an opportunity to simply catch everyone up to speed with what other members of the staff are working on. If different staff members share with one another some insight into what they are working on, what goals they have for the week and what the biggest challenge(s) would be in achieving those goals, then the entire staff begins to have a better understanding of the other moving parts in the company.

Sometimes the unintended consequence might be the realization that two of your staff members could really help each other out in ways they hadn’t previously realized. Additionally, the whole staff will perform better if they understand how their contributions influence the rest of the company’s success and they feel more invested in being part of the team.

Why is it effective?

Stimulates news ideas

The working lunch is effective because it is a time to bring ideas of all levels to share concepts and perspectives of a project. The time of day stimulates conversation and even a burst of energy. This is an opportunity to get individuals who perhaps don’t directly work together on a day-to-day basis to discuss ideas from their disparate viewpoints.

New ideas, more informed perspectives, and a better sense of team and community are all positive results that can come out of the working lunch. Not only can the ideas that come from these sessions be put to good use but employees should come out of these working lunches feeling pumped-up and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Boosts productivity

We’ve all felt that mid-afternoon lethargy after eating a big lunch at our desks, or even if we went elsewhere and have now returned to our desks. Instead of seeing a loss in productivity post-lunch hour, the working lunch can be a boost as it reminds people they are all working together for a common goal. Maintenance of that motivation level as well as empowering new ideas from colleagues can help make staff members more productive in the afternoons.

But don’t make it all work no play

We always end our working lunch with a game. Our game, maybe a little competitive, uses an app called ‘Preguntados’. Everyone has to answer a question correctly and whoever gets it wrong has to then play darts. And the loser, unfortunately, has to do the dishes. An intense end to our working lunch.

This blog is by Agu De Marco, Co-Founder of Wideo, a DIY animated video production platform.

Looking for a community contributor for technology, startup or entrepreneur related stories? DM me on Twitter @agudemarco or email

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