Few things are as vital to startups’ success as establishing a collaborative culture. Indeed, tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter are all prime examples of how having a great culture can help new businesses to scale. But while many entrepreneurs may not be able to offer in-house yoga classes, free meals or other lavish perks, they can weed out discontent by removing minor office irritants. And according to a new report, business leaders are well-advised to start in the lunch room.
Having surveyed 1,000 UK workers, CV-Library, the online jobs portal, has revealed that 46.2% believe that there are lunchtime faux pas that people should avoid at work. While some of the mistakes may require some sensitivity to solve, 58.8% said that it’s important that repeat offenders are informed about their unwanted behaviour.
That may be something to keep in mind when attempting to resolve what was deemed as the biggest luncheon mistake: midday drinking. While many may have considered washing down your lunch with a pint an acceptable stress-reliever a decade ago, 39% nowadays consider drinking alcohol during office hours as unacceptable, something that comes days after Lloyd’s banned its bankers from drinking between nine am and five pm.
Meanwhile, the second most disliked grub-related gaffe is bringing smelly food into the office, which 36.8% deemed as a horrible mistake, while 28.2% detested watching their colleagues devour unhealthy snacks. Another factor that gets the hackles up of 32.2% of workers is leaving a mess in a shared kitchen.
But it’s not just what workers decide to do with their food and drink that ruffles feathers: even the amount of time people set aside for lunch can rub people up the wrong way. Although working in a high-stress environment like the startup sector may motivate some employees to skip lunch all together, the survey suggested that 25.4% would be irritated if their colleagues opted out of eating. However, people are also advised to avoid opting for the other extreme and taking overly long lunch breaks, with 22% considering the behaviour to be disrespectful.
“We spend a great deal of our time at work and if your lunchtime habits are having a negative impact on your colleagues it could be time to rethink your choices,” said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library. “Not only this but drinking alcohol, taking a long lunch break or even not taking one at all can also have damaging effect on your productivity. So when making your lunchtime decisions be conscious of your colleagues and also remember that despite being entitled to a break, you still have an afternoon of work ahead of you to get through.”
Given the detrimental effect discontent among staff members can have on a startup’s chances of success, this report certainly offers entrepreneurs some food for thought.