We all know the importance of gathering around the family dinner table. According to The Atlantic, “the dinner table can act as a unifier, a place of community. Sharing a meal is an excuse to catch up and talk, one of the few times where people are happy to put aside their work and take time out of the day.”
So how do you begin to apply these findings to your office? You have come to the right place.
TS Wellness introduces a unique way to promote innovation, engagement, creativity, and an overall better employee experience.
WHY A KITCHEN TABLE?
A recent research study by Cornell University found a direct link between sharing meals together and higher performing teams in fire departments in a large US city.
A typical firehouse has a kitchen, but it’s the responsibility of the firefighters to stock the kitchen and cook meals. Without any official mention of roles and responsibilities, these firefighters have adopted meal planning, cooking, eating together and cleaning up into their firehouse culture.
Firefighters reported that eating together makes them feel like a family; strengthening the bond between coworkers in a way that was lacking from other activities throughout the day.
Further research found an undeniable positive correlation between eating together and higher team performance. The skills that underlie simple meal planning—cooperation, communication and collaboration—show up through performance on the job.
Companies like Google and Pixar have designed their workspaces in a way that promotes spontaneous, random discussions among employees during mealtimes. In fact, Google intentionally designed their New York City campus so that no part of the office was more than 150 feet from food.
Whether in a restaurant, kitchen or cafeteria, team members are encouraged to collaborate and share ideas in common gathering places much like the kitchen tables in a firehouse.
Be mindful of how the culture of your company may be unintentionally keeping employees glued to their seats. Research has shown that only 1 in 5 people step away from their desks for a meal during the workday. And while it may seem harmless to grab a quick bite at your desk through the lunch hour, creativity suffers, productivity lags and the sense of belonging among coworkers can slowly erode if it becomes a habit.
YOUR NEXT STEP
Many leaders today are searching for that magic solution that will solve their company's performance problems, but maybe the answers are much simpler. Though it’s often overlooked, cooking and eating together as a team can help foster engagement, innovation, creativity, and ultimately help your entire team perform better on the job.
TS Wellness is a corporate wellness company dedicated to helping organizations improve the overall health and wellness of their teams.
TS Wellness provides onsite team building activities utilizing the “kitchen table”. We help the team plan, prepare and enjoy a meal together, while still focusing on your team’s performance and wellness. This is not your typical culinary exercise. We take it to the next level.
We help leadership teams, Boards of Directors, or project teams focus on what’s important and how to leverage the concept of the kitchen table for increased team collaboration, innovation, and creativity.
for a discussion about how we can help bring the "Kitchen Table" to your office.
The Kitchen Table and the Workplace
a unique approach to success