Do You Eat Alone at Work?

Published June 18, 2018 at 5:00 pm


It’s lunch time at work. Where do you go to eat?

Some may dine at their desk, some in the office cafeteria, or at a restaurant nearby.

And most eat alone.

More and more Canadians reportedly eat in isolation. According to a study from Oxford Economics, eating alone is strongly associated with unhappiness.

To break the cycle of solitude, the President’s Choice team is challenging Canadians to get back to the table and a share a meal and #eattogether.

Eating alone has become part of work culture and daily routine. In this year’s Eat Together film, which was viewed 25 million times and was widely discussed online. One out of 10 Canadians call eating alone a new societal norm. According to a new survey by the PC team, two-thirds of us most often eat lunch alone, nearly half do so every day. Fifty-nine per cent agree that it’s the new norm.

“Spending time together over food has the power to bring families closer, to connect colleagues, and to bring together diverse communities,” said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO, Loblaw Companies Limited.  “We know the benefits. Today, we’re challenging all Canadians to imagine the impact we could have if, just a little more often, we took the time to eat together.”

The Loblaws group is bringing the culture of eating together by hosting BBQ lunches for customers across the country at their stores.

But even though most of us are eating alone, a lot of Canadians do see the benefit of eating together.

Three-quarters of working Canadians see that there is an improvement in communication with their colleagues when they eat together. And, 64 per cent agree that it’s more fun to eat lunch with colleagues.

“Progressive companies are embracing the meal sharing traditions of old,” said Dr. Nick Hobson, University of TorontoBehavioural Science Lecturer. “They are tapping into an ancient human practice, knowing well and good that eating together is the furthest thing from a waste of precious work time.”

But most Canadians don’t leave their desk at lunch because either they feel that it’s the new norm (59 per cent). Twenty-five per cent like to spend lunch hour catching up on personal business, 23 per cent think they’re too busy to stop doing whatever they are doing and 12 per cent like to spend that time on social media.

And, now it’s time to start breaking the norm.

Who will you eat lunch with today?

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