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What is a Virtual Water Cooler and How to Set One Up

Updated: May 3

What are virtual watercoolers and how to set them up using tools like Dewdropz on Microsoft Teams

In the ever-evolving landscape of remote and hybrid work, the art of casual conversation seems to be getting lost. Remember those quick, refreshing chats by the water cooler? They didn’t just quench your thirst, they kept the team spirit alive.  A virtual water cooler serves as a digital hub where team members can engage in informal conversations—discussing everything from weekend plans to the latest TV show hits—thus keeping the team's social fabric vibrant.

What is a Virtual Water Cooler?

A virtual water cooler is an online space designed to facilitate the informal, spontaneous interactions that occur naturally in physical office settings. It’s the place where team members can gather to have non-work-related conversations that foster a friendly and inclusive company culture.

Why Is It So Important?

The benefits of maintaining an informal chat space are well-documented. According to research highlighted by Harvard Business Review, the absence of Virtual Water coolers, can lead to team meetings tend to become very task-focused; this means important information may not be shared and team cohesion may weaken. These informal spaces are vital for:

  1. Enhancing Team Cohesion: Fostering informal interactions among staff helps strengthen interpersonal relationships, which is crucial for remote teams.

  2. Boosting Employee Morale: A virtual water cooler can serve as a stress reliever by offering a space for relaxation and non-work-related conversation.

  3. Encouraging Spontaneous Collaboration: When team members feel connected on a personal level, they are more likely to share ideas and collaborate informally.

  4. Supporting Organizational Culture: These casual interactions help reinforce company values and maintain a sense of normalcy, even in a remote setting.

colleagues enjoying a group conversation, the type that Dewdropz can facilitate, enhancing personal connections and workplace integration

How to Set Up a Virtual Water Cooler

Creating a virtual water cooler is straightforward with the right tools and approach. Here’s how to do it effectively:

1. Choose the Right Tool

Select a platform that integrates easily with tools your team already uses. For teams utilizing Microsoft Teams, Dewdropz CoffeeStation offers a seamless integration that enhances user adoption and reduces the learning curve.

2. Define the Purpose and Rules

Clarify what the virtual water cooler is for. Is it a space for light-hearted banter, sharing personal milestones, or discussing hobbies? Setting clear expectations helps guide interactions and ensures the space remains inclusive and respectful.

3. Encourage Regular Interaction

Keep the space active by scheduling regular prompts or themes for discussion. Tools like Dewdropz can automate these interactions, ensuring there’s always something new to talk about.

4. Monitor and Adapt

Use built-in analytics to track engagement and gather feedback. Adjust topics and interaction styles based on what your team enjoys most to keep the space dynamic and engaging.

5. Celebrate and Incentivize Participation

Recognize those who contribute regularly to the virtual water cooler. Dewdropz’s ShoutOuts feature is perfect for publicly acknowledging and thanking team members, which encourages ongoing participation.

Screenshot of Dewdropz CoffeeStation feature in Microsoft Teams showing a lively virtual water cooler conversation among remote team members, fostering community spirit and enhancing company culture.

Leveraging Dewdropz for Your Virtual Water Cooler

Dewdropz not only simplifies the process of setting up a virtual water cooler but also enriches the experience with its tailored features. Through CoffeeStation, you can facilitate lively discussions and foster a community spirit directly within Microsoft Teams. Whether you're sparking a debate about the best local eateries or coordinating an online gaming session, Dewdropz helps keep your team connected and engaged.

In conclusion, a virtual water cooler is crucial for maintaining the informal, spontaneous interactions that are a hallmark of traditional office environments. By fostering a space where employees can socialize and share freely, you enhance not just morale but also the collaborative spirit essential for innovation and success. Ready to bring your team closer together? Explore how Dewdropz



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