Zoom no more: Work lunches return in time to lift office morale, study says
After more than a year of virtual coffees, the business lunch is back according to a new study, with Brits eyeing sirloin steak and red wine to seal a deal.
The study, commissioned by London North Eastern Railway (LNER), found that most participants agreed that treating a client to a medium-rare sirloin steak paired with a glass of Malbec is the sure-fire way to finalise a deal’s details.
Working Brits are itching to get back out there and experience pre-pandemic lunches. 76 per cent of those surveyed said they are enjoying the pre-pandemic formalities of hand shakes, cheek kisses, and particularly wining and dining their clients.
Although lunches should be no more than an hour, the data showed, particularly if Malbec is table-side. While 48 per cent said virtual coffees and lunches on Zoom fail to replace the face-to-face experience.
A huge 94 per cent of those surveyed said they are better communicators in face-to-face meetings, with 92 per cent really feeling the effects of not being able to meet for after work drinks or lunches with colleagues, adding that it has had a negative impact on morale.
“We’re pleased that there’s an appetite to return to face-to-face business interactions,” LNER managing director, David Horne, said.
“Pre-pandemic, we saw business customers travelling every day to all corners of the country to enjoy the merits that come with face-to-face business meetings. This has been something our onboard colleagues have missed during the past 16 months, and we’re excited to be seeing the signs that this is restarting.”