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Is Lunch the New Happy Hour?

In the modern work landscape, the traditional concept of happy hour is evolving, making way for a new trend that is changing the way we socialize and recharge during the workday. Enter the era of "lunch as the new happy hour" - a refreshing shift in the workplace culture that embraces midday gatherings, social connections, and a revitalized approach to productivity.

According to new research released by ezCater (as sited in Business Wire), "We're observing a major shift in workplace culture. Employees are excited to connect in person, but how and when they want to socialize with each other is changing. The takeaway for employers is to invest in team lunches rather than off-site events after work. Not only is it an inclusive way to bring employees together during work hours and create a sense of excitement, it’s also a great way to encourage collaboration. It's a win-win for everyone."

Key Findings from the survey include:

  • Employees feel obligated, not excited, to attend workplace events outside of work hours: Organizations encouraging employee attendance at events outside of traditional work hours may be putting unwanted pressure on employees. Over half of workers (64%) have felt obligated to participate in work events outside the office that they didn’t want to join, and 51% of respondents have lied to skip an after-hour work event or snuck out altogether.

  • Lunch in the office is a morale boost: Overwhelmingly, free lunch and time to eat with coworkers was the activity employees wished their workplace offered the most during working hours (87%).

  • “Lunch-citement” is a trend in the office: Nearly all workers (94%) feel excited if they know their office provides catered lunch. In fact, employees get so excited that nearly all of them scope out the menu at least one day in advance (92%) when their workplace provides meals. Saving money (63%), the variety of food for lunch (61%) and how lunch gives workers a real break during their workday (59%) contribute to employees’ feelings of excitement over free lunch.

So, bid farewell to traditional happy hours and say hello to a new era of lunchtime bonding and rejuvenation. Let's embrace this positive shift and cultivate a more connected and empowered workforce, where the midday break becomes a source of joy, productivity, and genuine happiness.



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