Remote work has made developing connection with teammates or customers more challenging. However, several years ago researchers found a set of effective mechanisms that can transcend any Zoom meeting and build effective trust within a team.
Research conducted by the University of Chicago suggests that when people have limited information about each other, eating the same food increases camaraderie, trust and cooperation. Here is a closer look at three experiments from this study:
1. Similar food consumption increases trust.
Strangers were arranged in pairs. One group of paired strangers ate the same food at the same time — and then engaged in a role-play game measuring trust. A second group of paired strangers ate different foods at the same time — and then did the same role play. Strangers eating the same food registered 30% higher levels of trust.
2. Similar food consumption improves negotiation outcomes.
Strangers were again arranged into pairs. Some pairs ate the same foods at the same time, other pairs ate different foods at the same time. This time, the pairs were asked to negotiate to resolve a dispute. Strangers eating the same food at the same time reached resolution 2X faster.
3. The powerful role of similar food consumption on inferred trust.
To test ‘inferred trust’, observers watched two groups of paired strangers. One group wore the same shirts but ate different foods. A second group wore different clothes but ate the same food. People perceived that pairs eating similar foods, but not pairs wearing similar colored shirts, were more trusting of one another.
Teamraderie used the findings from academic research to create solutions for distributed teams. We offer 45-minute virtual experiences that give your team an opportunity to enjoy similar foods together — kits are shipped to your team members.
Investor/entrepreneur Keith Rabois — in an interview this week — emphasizes Teamraderie’s major accomplishment connecting decades of academic research at Stanford, Harvard, MIT and elsewhere to solve the most vexing remote work challenges.