Nothing beats the excitement of the water cooler. It’s a legend for a reason, and if your virtual office interactions don’t measure up, you may miss it. Indeed, people everywhere are mourning the loss of the water cooler camaraderie found in the in-person environment. You may not be able to replicate it in the online office, but you can certainly come close by investing in a custom Zoom virtual background. A customized background for your Zoom calls can allow you to recreate the appearance of an office — complete with a water cooler facsimile. Find out why so many online companies have already opted for a virtual water cooler experience.
Create a Sense of Belonging and Unity
What makes the water cooler so special? It’s known as the hotspot for office gossip, but it’s also known as the destination for important bonding moments between colleagues. If you’ve had to transition into an online environment, it may seem like the best part of your day has been taken away. Luckily, a virtual water cooler can replicate the experience and create a sense of belonging for all team members. Even in the virtual world, it’s important to have time to relax, unwind, and engage in small talk with your coworkers.
That’s why a Zoom virtual office isn’t complete without its very own digital water cooler. Whether you’re looking for some innocuous gossip or you want to stay up to date with your colleagues’ families, this is the place to do so. It’s easy for virtual teams to feel disparate and disengaged. With everybody working separately, creating a unified team isn’t easy. Nothing inspires unity like an open forum, though — and that’s exactly what a water cooler represents. Give your team the gift of conversation by setting up an online water cooler for your next team meeting.
Help Facilitate Discussion and Group Exercises
Once you’ve created a Google Meet virtual background to feature in your water cooler meeting, you should set up some activities to further facilitate the conversation. Even if your team is already well-acquainted, icebreakers are always a great way to get people talking and help everybody loosen up. You can start with a famous classic like two truths and a lie and see who makes the most correct guesses. You can also set up a link to online group games that allow team members to compete against each other.
Taking the time to facilitate activities like these is more than just team building. It’s a demonstration of how much you value the individual members of your team. In the virtual office, it’s difficult to express appreciation the same way you might in the in-person world. Creating a water cooler environment helps to break down the barriers that can emerge in a virtual context. More importantly, though, it gives your team members the chance to talk, laugh, and learn about each other. You may be surprised at just how effective this is in boosting productivity and improving the overall morale of your team.