Advantages of having lunch with your colleagues

The company where you work is not only your place of work, it is also somewhere where social relationships and friendships happen. For that matter, many managers are looking into promoting solidarity and a good working environment within their team because they are confident that it will have an impact on the productivity of the company. That is the reason why “eating together” with colleagues is something that companies really wish for. It has become something normal that generates lots of benefits. If you’re one of those people who eat alone in front of your desk, think about going to the cafeteria from time  to time to take lunch with your colleagues. Having lunch, sharing a good meal with your colleagues seated around a table, is the perfect opportunity to talk about work and what we have done during the weekend. It provides exchanges and  good spirit. According to the 2016 survey from Cornell University, it also stimulates teamwork.


This study revealed that most of the time, employees who eat together are more likely to work together than those who eat alone. Teamwork is not the only advantage that comes out of sharing lunch with colleagues: it is a good alternative to team building which is “ very costly, but mostly it requires a lot of employees to do activities with their colleagues during their free time” explains Kevin Kniffin, a behavioral researcher. With that in mind, many companies set up cafeterias inside their buildings to uplift that friendly practice and encourage employees to go there and sit at a table around colleagues.


However, you can’t force relationships among people because it could be counter productive. So, even though eating with colleagues has plenty of benefits, we shouldn’t force things to happen. It should come naturally… Actually just because you share a lunch with colleagues doesn’t mean that teamwork and harmony will get better and that workers will like each other better or work better together.


Quite to the contrary, eating by yourself could also be a good thing. Everybody is not always ready to handle conversations about each and others during lunch, which also represents a relaxing moment where you find yourself again. From this study from the University of Toronto, it is especially important to let people choose what they want to do. You can’t force anybody to be with others. Anyway, it is up to you to choose who you want to eat with. You can also choose both options and go back and forth as you want it, by eating alone once a week for example. 


Whatever the case is, it is recommended not to be seen as someone who always mess up the mood and the atmosphere within colleagues. Be even in terms of choices. Your manager will always appreciate you being someone who come together.


5 sentences to never say at work

The professional world is a universe that requires a certain finesse in speech as well as in behaviour in general. In the company, the words you use give an idea of your professional image. It is therefore a good idea to choose the right expressions when you are in a professional environment. Certain phrases are thus absolutely to be banned if you want to be considered a leader. But which ones? Forbes magazine interviewed Darlene Price (author of the book Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results) about those words or phrases that should be avoided at all costs at work. We take stock with you.


1. “It’s not fair.”

Your colleague has received a pay raise while you work harder than he does. This can indeed create some frustration. But complaining or brooding about your anger in the workplace would be counterproductive. Instead, take stock of the facts, build a case and present it calmly to the people responsible,” advises Darlene Price.


2. “It’s not my problem” / “It’s not my job” / “I don’t get paid for this”

This sentence is to be banished, because it shows that you do not have the team spirit, nor the sense of solidarity. This does not mean that you have to accept everything, but you must be more tactful in your refusal. Darlene Price says that if, for example, you’re overwhelmed and your boss asks you to take on an extra task, tell him that you’d be happy to help and ask what priority you should give to each of the projects you’re working on. And Darlene Price’s continued use of this method will show that you’re willing to invest in the team, while reminding him that he needs to be realistic in his expectations.


3. “I will try.”

The verb to try implies a certain reluctance or lack of commitment. It is perceived by influential leaders as a rather negatively connoted verb in professional exchanges. Imagine, for example, that you absolutely must mail an invoice before a certain time and ask your colleague to take care of it when he goes to his next customer. If he replies “I’ll try” you will feel obliged to do it yourself because the sentence implies a possibility of failure.


4. “But that’s the way we’ve always done it”

It should also be remembered that initiative is the hallmark of leaders. A good worker must be able to think outside the box to innovate. Employers value innovation and creative thinking among their employees. However, this sentence proves that you are stuck in your habits, rigid and closed, without any prospect of evolution. Change is not always negative: never be so adamant about a new idea or way of doing things,” advises Darlene Price.


5. “He’s a fool” / “He’s lazy” / “My job sucks” / “I hate this company”

According to Darlene Price, this kind of sentence not only reveals immaturity, but can get you fired. Making those kinds of judgments is always going to reflect poorly on you. If you have something to reproach someone with, let them know directly, tactfully and politely: it will prove your professionalism.


How to integrate into a new team ?

Finding your place in a new team is not always easy. Relationships with new coworkers can be troublesome sometimes. It is understandable because people who don’t know each others need time to understand and appreciate each others so they can work together efficiently. With that in mind, when you have just joined a team, you have a key role to play in successfully settling. 


         1- Be humble 

It is true that you must show your skills in order to be respected and accepted by your coworkers, but that doesn’t mean that you should act as someone who lack humility because that certainly will make it impossible to develop efficient collaboration. You must not give the impression that you look down on your coworkers or question their skills. That could create some type of frustration that could be detrimental to your integration to the team. Whether you are a young hire or an expert executive, settling into a new team is a good way to achieve your mission. Plus, having a good relationship with your coworkers is necessary to make you feel good in a company, it is even a motivation factor for waking up every morning to go to work. Think about it!


          2- Show energy and enthusiasm

Generally, your new colleagues make an opinion about you on the very first contact. That is basic. That is the reason why you should show energy and enthusiasm when you first meet them. As a matter of fact, many HR specialists all agree on the fact that the integration period is crucial for building a positive image in the long term, even beyond carrying out your duties. So in order to successfully settle into a new team, do not hesitate to put a smile on your face,  you must also be discreet and nice. It is also recommended to dress with simplicity. It is only after you are well integrated or if the dress code of the company allows you to, that you can wear a shirt with patterns on it.


        3- do not try to change it all

Your input will certainly be exptected and appreciated by your management. It is a good thing actually that you have specific ideas on how to boost the numbers of your company. But be smart, do not show them off on the first day. “ ont the first days, you must essentially observe, listen and ask questions” an HR specialist advises. Take the time to adapt yourself to the culture of the company in order to better understand its challenges. It is only after a while that you will be able to bring some suggestions to your manager. “ Be careful not to confuse bringing your experience on the table and forcing it”, the specialists tell us.


        4– follow the rules that your team has set up

Of course, the minute you join a team, expect to have some rules to follow. Find out about them so you don’t risk violating them. Certain rules are unfortunately not written down anywhere and you will know them as time goes by. As a new hire, the difficulty lies on following those unwritten rules that exist between coworkers. « You must pay attention to the habits and costumes of the group because there will surely be some tacit or explicit social rules », adds an HR expert. If, for example, your new coworkers usually have lunch together, make sure you go with the flow… at least until you are well settled in. Of course if you notice clans and tensions between certain people, stay away from it. Every office has its way of working anyway. Those operating rules can work during meetings for projects review, or working hours only. Make sure you absorb them fully to better your chances of successfully integrating a team.


The Monday Blues : how to beat the Monday blues?

Sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday morning always feels good… However, usually after weekends, it is always difficult to go back to work. The first day of the week is certainly never the best one. Many people have trouble finding their pace of work on Monday morning. Therefore, they spend more time at the coffee machine than in their office. If this happens to you, know that you are probably suffering from what we call the ‘The Monday Blues’. It is a very common phenomenon. If it is happening to you, we have 4 ways on how to get ride of it.

Maximize your weekend…

If you are not in great shape on Monday morning, it is probably because you didn’t make the most of your Sunday rest. Keep in mind, then that if you want to have a good week at work, the work must be done ahead of time. The beginning of the week will definitely be less chaotic if you make sure you have enough rest during the weekend. «  It is crucial to unplug from work during the weekend so you are efficient on Monday. To do that, the best way is to not think about work at all. Avoid checking emails for example” said psychologue and coach Boris Charpentier. Basically, some rest and some relaxing time, with activities that take care of our wellbeing.

Plan for some relaxing time on Monday night…

If you are not careful enough, the “Monday Blues” could expand over the whole week and ruin your work. In order to find a solution to it, it is recommended to plan a relaxing time on Monday night, like having a drink with friends or going out to the movies, for example. It makes you feel better and makes you feel happy because you are looking forward to something. That way, in the morning, you have something to be excited about because you know you will have a fun night. You will take on your Monday work with serenity. Also, it will help you regroup before having a good sleep and feeling good for the rest of the week.

Plan you Monday work ahead of time…

A lot of reasons can explain the “Monday Blues”. It could caused by a reminiscence of the fun time you had over the weekend, a feeling of injustice, or in some extreme cases, it could be a warning sign. It expresses pain and could be a sign of depression or burnout” explains Boris Charpentier. The most obvious sign of a “Monday Blues” is the loss of focus. If your agenda is not clearly planned, your situation will only get worse. You actually don’t even need to try because your day is already ruined. Think about time management and try to plan your Monday work ahead of time. Otherwise, you will loose some precious time and that will have a greater effect on your focus. This planning will give you a new boost from the very beginning of the week. Not to mention that it “will make you take control of your everyday life and set the tone for the week”, adds the psychologue. 

Take a break from time to time…

To avoid fatigue, it is crucial to take breaks. That is not only true for Mondays. Take your mind off and empty your head, away from the screen. A deep breath of fresh air can work miracles for you. If you like coffee,  a good cup of coffee is the perfect pick-me-up drink in Monday mornings. But don’t drink to excess because too much caffeine is not good for your health.