Despite the fact that the majority of employees are working from home right now, this moment might be the best time to implement a new ritual of regular coffee breaks with your team.
At the office, coffee breaks tend to be spontaneous. But when employees are working from home, there’s no such spontaneity. Instead, we have to make a deliberate effort to connect with colleagues.
And why it’s so important to do this? Well, although remote employees are enjoying flexible work hours, lesser commute stress and money savings… Burnouts at home are real. Feeling isolated due to the lack of social interaction is real. Eventually, productivity loss due to isolation is real too.
So having virtual coffee breaks is the solution. To be clear: a virtual coffee break is an intentional allocation of time toward low-fidelity activities like chatting and brainstorming. You may include virtual coffee breaks to help restore the team’s energy and create engagement.
Moreover, you can also have these virtual breaks with clients or partners to talk about small issues, with whom under normal circumstances, you would have met in person.
Tips to host virtual coffee breaks
Here are some tips to host virtual coffee breaks:
You are not going to accidentally bump into each other online like you would near the coffee machine. With a remote team, you’ve got to schedule your unstructured time together.
Just because it’s a casual activity doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and leave a great impression on your employees, coworkers or clients!Watchity allows you to customize your live video connecting cameras and smartphones, sharing your screen or webcam, adding lower-thirds, overlays, brand logos and pre-recorded videos. This way, you can create great-looking virtual activities with an amazing brand image.
If your employees or coworkers are shy, icebreakers are quick questions that help get the conversation started and let you learn something about each other. For example, if someone is drinking something, ask what it is. You can also ask what they are doing this weekend, if there is any news in their lives, etc.
If you have organized a virtual coffee break with your coworkers, playing a game is an amazing idea. The purpose of including games is to have fun, relax and help build relationships between employees. Here is a list of 25 fun games to play on your next virtual coffee chat.
Let the conversation be informal/casual
If you are having a short conversation with a coworker, why should it be formal? It just doesn’t make sense. Casual discussion and chat are significant for building connections and compatibility with your colleagues and partners. It’s even more significant in the current situation as it can act as a stress buster for the uneasiness coming from the isolation at home.
Even though coffee chat is something casual, one should not neglect the importance of being appropriately dressed. Besides, it will push you into a more professional mindset and it will give you confidence. Remember this especially if your virtual coffee chat is going to be with a client or partner.
Keep technical problems to a minimum
Make sure you have a great internet connection or a headset so that it’s easy to hear each other. Conversations are much smoother when the technology is running smoothly.
Check your lighting and background
Lights are a very important part of a virtual meeting. Proper lighting can help with your visibility on camera. A messy background can be an interruption or reflect poorly on your organizational skills, so make sure to clean up before starting.