As someone who is fairly new to Mason, one way that I have been able to build good working relationships and maintain a well-being mindset is to find people to eat lunch with in my department at Mason Recreation. I really think it makes all the difference in adding an elevated component of well-being to the workplace. Many have a tendency to just eat alone or grab something in a hurry, but at the end of the day that can be a bit boring and redundant. I encourage my colleagues to pick up something or bring food from home so we can have a group lunch most days. I think it really helps us to strengthen our working relationships, while also making the workday fun and less stressful!
I’ve been a member of other universities where all the professional staff members of a department had lunch together daily, and I can honestly say it made a huge difference in our productivity and camaraderie. It gave my days a boost, and made for a positive office atmosphere overall. I feel it is a worthwhile practice that I have tried to bring with me in my position here at Mason.
When we only see each other at meetings, or from behind a desk, it is easy to forget that we are more than just a “cog in the machine.” Most of us have more in common than we think and we may seldom get the chance to see it. I have found it to be really important to have small opportunities to connect during the day – maybe a quick coffee break or during lunch, where we can enjoy each other’s company. Bonus points if those breaks include a good meal and conversation! It is one of the best ways I can think of to take care of our personal well-being while at work.
October 10, 2017