Corporate iftars are more than big group selfies, where you are barely seen. Iftar and similar events have several positive long-term impacts on you and your co-workers. We have done our research on the topic and asked our expert who is responsible for all our Iftars at WUZZUF every year, Aya Waheed, HR manager of WUZZUF.
Work Iftar can break the ice
One of the reasons that may draw you back from attending this kind of iftars merely is that you are still a newcomer and you don’t feel that you belong there yet. Even if you have been there for a while, you may still not get along with the team, and all you can do is to keep things professional. You would rather instead to spend this time with your family or friends. But this should actually motivate you to make it to the iftar, which is actually a great chance to get to know and deepen your relationship with your coworkers.
Aya Waheed, HR Manager at WUZZUF, encourages newcomers, introverts, and the ones who cannot mingle with the team yet to attend iftars and other social events, pointing out that:
“Throughout my experience, I realized how chemistry arises just like magic in fun ambiances, away from daily work stresses, even if it never worked before.”Chemistry arises just like magic in fun ambiances, away from daily work stresses, even if it never worked beforeClick To Tweet
Time to forget past disagreements
Even if you used to have a strong relationship with your colleagues, things are not always as good as they are supposed to be.
The conflict might be over already, but you cannot just forget a coworker’s angry words in your last disagreement, or how your manager wasn’t supportive enough when you had a difficult time at work. But this iftar is a great opportunity to heal what time failed.
Don’t fall for resentment as it is counter-productive to blame people you meet every day for a thing that has already passed. It will be exhausting for you and everyone around. Your hard feelings may stop you from doing your job as passionately as you used to be. Meeting in a fun event, with all Ramadan spirit around, can be an ideal chance to leave all the disagreements behind and regain the good old days.
Eating Together is a key to bond
Iftar events are different from other fun events. Sharing a table, eating together, practicing Ramadan traditions together are engraved in our conscious minds as family activities. In her book Eating Together, Alice Julier argues that people tend to feel more equal when they dine together, despite their differences regarding race, gender, socioeconomic backgrounds. When such barriers are broken, people build stronger bonds as family members do.
Scientifically Proven: eating with teammates makes you a better professional
Believe it or not, science encourages you not to miss work iftars too. A recent study, led by Assistant Professor Kevin Kniffin at Cornell University, interviewed 395 supervisors at a large city’s fire department, asking them to rate the performance of the platoons they work with. By the end, they found out that platoons who eat together got high-performance ratings than the ones who do not.
Kniffin argues that “eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue.” This generates a kind of familiarity and friendliness among team members. It helps professionals perform better, especially when they have to work together.
If you are one of those who prefers to eat individually, this Iftar is the opportunity you need to kickstart the tradition of eating with the tribe, if not for bonding with your team, then for your career.
Make “work” friends
Everybody has their own personality, and it is okay if you are a shy person or prefer to keep it professional at work. But in an Iftar event, you have all the space to let the funny you out.
If you are not a friend with your teammates yet, an iftar is an excellent opportunity so you can socialize and discover shared interests with your co-workers, not necessarily the ones you work with every day, but also members of other teams, with whom you don’t get the chance to chit chat very often.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of being lost in the crowd, because you will definitely find someone who has the same interests as you.
Know the real values of your company
Iftar events are typically organized once a year; therefore, they are usually big and festive that the members of all the company offices, branches, departments, and sometimes some of the company’s guests and partners are invited. It is a not-to-miss opportunity to network with the big family of your company and people who share your passion in this business. Aya Waheed, HR Manager at WUZZUF, highlights that in such events, professionals usually realize how massive their company is, and they start to gain more confidence and loyalty for their respective companies.Iftar is the opportunity you need to kickstart the tradition of eating with the tribe, if not for bonding with your team, then for your career.Click To Tweet
Still Anxious to go?
If you still feel anxious to be among large groups, even if you are convinced that you should not miss such big event, try to deal with your anxiety and doubts, and here are some tips to help:
- Don’t be tempted by the big gathering, in a 2-hour-or-so event, there will be probably activities and plans that will help you blend.
- Identify the reasons why you don’t want to go and address them logically. For instance, if it is due to a disagreement you had with a co-worker last month, remind yourself that you can easily resolve the conflict, during a no-work event.
- If possible, take a shower before you head to the gathering. Slightly longer hot baths can help you relax and wind down.
- If you are still anxious, try some relaxing exercises to minimize your anxiety; deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or even a 2-minute workout.
- If breathing or exercising is not your thing, or you don’t have space or time, relaxing music can help too.
- During the event, encourage yourself to approach your colleagues and start general conversations. Talk about the latest social media trend, the show everybody watches or the match everybody awaits. Don’t stay alone on the corner, it will make you feel more detached.
Now the anxiety is gone, just put on one of your favorite and comfortable outfits and be ready to spend a memorable time with your big family.
What motivates you to make it to your company’s iftar? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.