Why a Business Lunch Isn’t as Productive as You Think

Over the course of a busy workday, it may seem smart to use your lunchtime as an opportunity to take care of an important business matter with a client or colleague. However, a business lunch may not be the greatest use of your time. While it’s good to take conversations out of the office sometimes, a business lunch can be rife with distraction, and it may not provide you with a good setting to be productive. Before you schedule your next business lunch, evaluate some of the following considerations, and think about whether a formal meeting or a phone call would be a better way to accomplish what you need to do.

Keep the Focus on Business

Adding a personal element to a business relationship may have some advantages. However, getting caught up in personal discussions may create an unprofessional tone. In the context of a business lunch, it may be all too easy to let a conversation go off course. Instead of talking about business, you may end up spending the entirety of your time talking about personal issues. Aside from a general lack of productivity, this can also lead to oversharing or creating a bad impression. Keeping meetings confined to a professional setting is a good way to keep your focus where it should be.

Avoid Distractions

In a bustling restaurant, you may experience a lot of distractions as you’re trying to talk with someone. A lot of background noise may force you to raise your voice, and continuous interruptions can interfere with the flow of your conversation. When you’re discussing important subject matter, however, you want an environment in which you can hold the reigns. Too much distraction during a business lunch could negatively affect the quality of your exchange with a colleague or client.

Have Access to Resources

Discussions and negotiations involving financial matters may require reference to concrete information. In order to sound knowledgeable about what you’re discussing, you need to be able to cite exact facts and figures. If you’re in an environment where you can’t access files, you may not be able to get your point across clearly or support your position. You certainly don’t want to be searching through your smartphone while subject to the mercy of your cellular network to come up with information if requested. Keep meetings in a place where you can have access to all of the resources that you may need to guide your discussion or answer questions effectively.

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