A Deliveroo for Business (DfB), the corporate arm of Deliveroo, survey of 1,004 office workers in Singapore to uncover insights on their lunch break behaviours has revealed that almost half (49%) of respondents eat alone at work and are never fully switched off as they perform work tasks during their lunchtime.
The commissioned survey conducted by Censuswide also found that employees are not maximising their lunch breaks, with just under a fifth (17%) of employees taking their full allotted break time.
Office workers crave social lunches to form a connection with colleagues
The pandemic has inevitably given rise to poor lunch habits as more people work from home, blurring the boundaries between work and family life, resulting in a yearning for social lunches with colleagues. According to the survey, over 80% of respondents expressed they would like to eat together more with their colleagues, with three in four (76%) stating they would like to do so to bond and get to know each other better.
The desire to form a social connection with colleagues beyond work amidst COVID-19 has hence resulted in an increase of individuals and team leads organising virtual team lunches over video or Zoom.
Types of food that office workers want for social lunches
Among office workers in Singapore, local hawker fare came in first (37%) as the most social meal to eat or drink in the office, followed by drinks such as coffee, tea or juices (31%), and small bites and sides (26%). Alcohol was voted the least social meal to consume at the workplace.
The key role food plays in building a productive and happier team dynamic
The survey suggested a positive correlation between eating together, higher team performance and engaged and satisfied employees. Seven in 10 (73%) office workers agreed that teams are happier and more productive after eating lunch together and slightly over a third (37%) of respondents admitted they worked harder after eating with their colleagues.
As more people start returning to the office, DfB wants to effect change in the way companies and employees approach lunch breaks to promote employee well-being and foster engagement in the workplace, with safe social distancing measures in place.
The survey also unveiled that almost three in five (59%) respondents expect their companies to order and organise team lunches. Close to three in four (72%) staff claimed they would feel more loyal to their company if they arranged for their favourite foods to be available.
“This new survey reveals that food remains a social glue in today’s workplace and is a key element in building a team of productive and engaged staff. The ongoing pandemic has forced us to reevaluate the way we live and work,” said Jeanette Smerin, Head of Deliveroo for Business, Singapore and Hong Kong.