Office collaboration is essential for great overall productivity in your company, but it's so easy for individual workers to get so caught up in their own tasks and goals that they don't feel this sense of friendly community.

Want to encourage your workers to feel closer to each other, and subsequently more eager to do great work together? Try these research-proven tips to foster more camaraderie your organization.

Offer catered lunches for your team

A Cornell University study followed 50 firehouses around the U.S., all of which celebrated the concept of firefighters eating a big daily meal together.

These firefighters reported they felt a great bond had developed from dining with their co-workers and "brothers," which naturally translated into mutual safety and support on the job. In your office, organizing a tasty meal once a week (or more) that everyone enjoys together can quickly cement fruitful friendships.

Ban "phubbing"

What's phubbing? It's snubbing the person you're having a conversation with to look at your phone, which definitely makes for a distance-creating situation between co-workers, according to a British research study.

Make an office rule that personal phones should only be checked in certain areas of the office, and shouldn't be checked at all when interacting with co-workers about business matters. This will help your staff truly engage with each other, and curtail any lingering annoyances.

Encourage physical group activity

It's a great idea to put together regular yoga or walking groups before work. Also, make a point of letting your employees know it's healthy for them (and OK by you) for them to reduce the time they're sitting at their desks to 50 percent of the day.

A new German study finds that many cubicle-bound workers would love to stand or walk around while engaged in a task, with obvious health benefits to follow. Ask your workers to remind and encourage each other to get up and move throughout the day as a healthy support system.

Help challenged workers feel supported

Research shows this can improve employees’ perception of your workplace. If you have employees who are pulling double duty as a family caregiver, or an employee balancing treatment for a chronic illness with his or her job, enlist your whole team to help however possible.

Start a support group for caregivers once a week; or encourage your team members to pick up work for someone who needs to take a sick day to see their doctor.

Doing good deeds in this way will not only show caring and appreciation for your challenged worker, but will create a powerfully positive vibe within your workplace as a whole — a win-win all around.

Keep a constant culture of open communication

Your team members should feel free to bring problems and concerns to you, as well as to discuss issues with their co-workers, at all times. Nothing will build trust faster, and make your organization operate in sync more consistently.