WEB DESK: In a new study, published in the journal Human Performance, food scientists from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab discovered employees who eat together were more effective collaborators.
“Eating together is a more intimate act than looking over an Excel spreadsheet together,” said study author Kevin Kniffin.
“That intimacy spills back over into work. From an evolutionary anthropology perspective, eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue. That seems to continue in today’s workplaces”, He added.
For the study, Kniffin and his team interviewed firefighters throughout 50 firehouses in one city over the course of 15 months. They asked 395 supervisors from the fire departments to rate their firehouse’s performance on a scale of 0 to 10, along with how often they ate together during a typical four-day workweek. A clear link emerged.
Firehouses that ate together tended to get higher performance ratings, while firehouses that didn’t eat together scored lower.
Historically, eating together has been an important tool for building and maintaining familial relationships.