What is Lunch and Learn?

A lunch-and-learn is a program where employers encourage employees or applicants to eat lunch in a group setting while simultaneously utilizing that time to complete trainings, seminars, and other education.  This provides companies with an excellent opportunity to attract new employees or train existing ones. It depends on the company, but usually the food is paid for by the employer. There could also be cases where the session has been set up at short notice, or if the participants choose for this setup, where people bring along their own food instead.

Office people drinking coffee during lunch break

How does it help employee wellbeing?

There is a multitude of benefits for employees that initiate or participate in such events.

1. A boost in learning

An environment that allows employees to share ideas with each other also allows them to grow their skills and talents. Lunch and learn sessions will allow employees to teach and receive new skills and perks for their job or even their day to day life. Employees can get the opportunity to address people in and outside their comfort zone, regardless of whether in a small or large crowd, and this helps to build self-confidence.

2. Increases understanding with one another

Lunch and learn sessions serve as platforms for employees to bond and explain their responsibilities. When an employee understands what everyone does and gets an opportunity to learn new skills, they better appreciate the other employees in the company.

3. Improved working culture

Other than providing employees with an interesting substitute for a lunch break, such sessions also help to strengthen the work culture. Employees are able to appreciate what other employees in other departments do, which will increase their engagement in the company.  Knowing that the organization values their contributions means that they are more likely to work with the best of their capabilities.

Employees brainstorming during coffee break. cartoon illustration

4. Strengthening the community

There are times when employees get engaged so much in work that they forget their lives outside of the company. Instead of letting the lunch break lapse without any meaningful engagements, they can use this time to showcase their talents, outside projects, and hobbies. They can link up with employees who share the same interests and build a community.


Overall, the point of a lunch-and-learn is, literally, to have lunch as a team and learn something new. Therefore, don’t get too bogged down in the details of planning the program. All companies have to do is offer employees the tools and space they need to do something both fun and productive during their lunch break.

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