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Virtual Water Cooler Ideas from CareFirst

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

  • Team Q&A

  • Team Kudos

  • Birthday Spotlights

  • 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

  • Animal Lovers

  • Working Parents Chat

  • Hobby/Skill Sharing

  • Virtual Lunch Breakroom

  • Icebreaker Sessions

  • Virtual Trivia

  • Virtual Happy Hour

  • Emoji Charades

  • Brain Teasers

  • Lip Sync Challenge

  • Show and Tell

  • Coffee Chat

  • Teatime

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