For an organization to flourish, one needs to keep a strong balance between engagement and productivity at the workplace. However, due to the pandemic, workspaces were restructured, thus affecting many areas. Your coffee break, for instance. That’s where the virtual coffee break steps in. Virtual coffee breaks take place during the middle of the day and are similar to the one-hour break employees used to take for lunch or the small talks near the office water cooler accumulated together.
Except that, virtual breaks are, as the name goes, virtual. This certain amount of time is allocated to employees to boost engagement in the team and build a community spirit. In the case of virtual coffee breaks, team members don’t necessarily need to have coffee. They can simply stop working and converse with other employees, which now takes place online.
Top Virtual Coffee Break Ideas That Enhance Workplace Engagement
Keeping this limitation in mind, we listed some top ideas that can be used to turn this virtual break into a fully engaging one! Here’s how you can do it:
Use Team-Building Activities to Enhance Team Communication for Greater Productivity Levels
One disadvantage that has often been noticed with remote-hybrid work environments is that team members do not know each other. The unfamiliarity that runs across the team results in slower workflows and a great reduction in productivity. If you are part of the senior management, you can get different teams together, introduce each new staff member, and break the ice with some chitchat and fun activities.
You don’t need to call everybody to proceed to the cafeteria for a break. You can do this while remote working is still intact. This cross-communication among team members is to create a climate of ease among the new and the old employees as that spontaneity, which was once found in the physical space of the office are unable to be found or felt online. To recreate that same rapport among employees, mixing up employees to break the ice, is a great idea for enhancing company culture and improving productivity levels at work.
Select a Topic Or an Objective to Discuss At the Next Coffee Break
Another great way to make your coffee break more productive is to introduce a topic of discussion or a specific objective for every coffee break. Consciously leading such virtual breaks with an agenda will allow employees to be ready for some intellectually stimulating talks and interesting conversations. What’s more is that, besides finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your team, this is another great way to find out about the quirks, habits, lifestyles, dreams, and hobbies of all employees.
Not only do such talks allow everybody to brainstorm and pitch in their two cents, but they also can bring a shift in people’s perspectives regarding various domains and even challenge social constructs and stigmas. These thought exercises may not bring in a drastic cultural change but they are good food for thought while ensuring that everybody in the team is on the same page. This improves coordination and cooperation amongst everybody and aims to present a safe space, where people can hold all kinds of views, even if they may differ from everybody else. Just make sure that you and other colleagues are using an internet provider, which ensures a fast and reliable connection, otherwise, a seemingly good time can easily get wasted.
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Spice Up Your Virtual Coffee Break by Taking it Outside
Are you and your team tired of working from home? Are you looking for some sort of change that perks up everybody’s energy? Why not transform your virtual coffee breaks and take them outside? Besides being a fantastic idea, this is a great pick-me-up for everyone, whose tired of staying at home. Take your video chats outside in the garden or some sort of open space. Introduce your surroundings if you are a new member of the team.
This is a great way of introducing personal information safely and healthily within professional settings. In addition to this, showing and sharing personal details of one’s life can boost the inter-personal relationship between employees, even if it is on the Zoom landscape, Skype, or any other video-conferencing software.
Play Fun Personality Quizzes and Games Such as Pictionary or Wordle
Holding online quizzes or gaming sessions is another way to make your virtual coffee break enjoyable as you bond with the rest of the team. You can have plenty of fun with personality quizzes, bringing the fun side of your workmates, which can be an eye-opener for them and even for you. These personality quizzes are great, especially for those shy reserved ones, who are not comfortable opening up or sharing any bit of their personal life with other team members.
With the help of these quizzes, one can make the shy ones open up and have a good time with the rest of the team, without worrying about trespassing personal boundaries. If personality quizzes are not your thing, then try Wordle or Pictionary. These days, everybody seems to be on the Wordle bandwagon. Why not use it to your benefit? This is great if your employees have the competitive itch in them. On the other hand, the time-and-tested Pictionary will get a lot of laughs as people scratch their heads to figure out what their employees just drew on the board.
Although remote work set up an environment that aimed to protect everybody from the virus, people are tired of staying at home and want a reprieve. That’s what these virtual coffee breaks aim to do: boost interaction and engagement between different kinds of team members so that everyone in the team has a strong connection with each other. Plus, a few minutes of fun activity on a busy day may be enough to recharge energy levels and bolster productivity.