"I’ve been on teams that eat together every day, and it’s awesome."
"...but you’ll also see a distressing number of loners eating by themselves..."
" Maybe they’re reading a book or checking their email while they eat so they don’t look sad."
"Maybe they genuinely don’t like people and they’re happy to eat alone. Or maybe they’re just telling you that."
This is something I see a lot in workplaces: Extroverted people just not understanding the mind of introverted people. Honestly I'm surprised a person with experience in the tech field (I assume) is falling into this trap.
Not everyone enjoys being around and talking to other people all day long. Maybe it's because they're shy, maybe it's because they don't like their co-workers, maybe it's because they have some kind of disorder, or maybe it's just their natural personality. I gotta be honest, there's no way I'd last at that place, because if my boss/coworkers were on my case every day to come eat with them, I'd be miserable. It's fine if the group wants to go out/gather once in a while, but not every day. Most days I just want to go have an hour where I can be left to myself and not have to talk to anyone else. Wonder how many otherwise good employees he's run off with this policy?