What is a virtual water cooler?
Water cooler conversation is the idea of needing human interactions. It is a place in the workplace to reconnect with colleagues. Especially since the world is virtual, the need to connect has grown stronger. A virtual water cooler goes way beyond instant messages and emails. It allows employees an opportunity to connect, feel like a pivotal part of the company, and spark new ideas that are in the best interest of the company.
Why do organizations need a virtual water cooler?
Studies show that casual workplace conversation and no-pressure socializing have a multitude of benefits. Social connections promote healthier employees. When employees have an opportunity to relax and talk about their hobbies and interests (instead of crunching numbers and working against a deadline), stress starts to melt away. A healthy employee shows up to work on time, maintains a mindful mindset, and grows the company. Not only do the mental and physical breaks help boost cognitive function, but they ultimately lead to a stronger, more united, and well-connected team that produces better work and better ideas.
How to create a virtual water cooler?
Some organizations choose to build their own virtual water cooler with options for text and video chat. The more common software platforms are Microsoft Teams, Sococo, Tandem, Yammer, and Unremot Watercooler. The best platforms have options to create dedicated channels or breakout rooms to allow employees to connect personally and engage with others in a dedicated space.
Virtual Water Cooler Topics:
Themed Events I.e. Wacky Hair Day
Informal Team Breaks
Virtual Team Building Activities
Book Club Chat
Film Club Chat
Music Lovers Chat
Photography Club Chat
Baking Club Chat
BBQ Club Chat
Cooking Club Chat
Health & Wellness Chat
Working Parents Chat
Virtual Lunch Breakroom
Virtual Happy Hour
Lip Sync Challenge
Show and Tell