What is a Watercooler Chat?
The term "Watercooler chat" refers to an easy going casual conversation, they come from the tendency of workers to have a chat in the break room while getting some water from the office water cooler. On a virtual office we don't really have a break room, but we can implement virtual water coolers, they won't really dispense actual water but they will serve the purpose of getting team members to talk to each other and have fun casual conversations, a virtual water cooler conversation is just as fun and a good way for remote employees to stay engaged and it's a great way to build a positive company culture.
Water cooler talk is essentially the opposite of business talk. While business talk focus strictly on work and work-related matters, watercooler conversations are casual conversations born out of serendipity, the art of chitchat, and our own personal affairs, watercooler chats are informal conversations, and supposed to create team bonding moments for virtual teams.
Why implement Watercooler Chats in your remote team?
Watercooler chats are important team building opportunities in a remote work environment, they improve team cohesion in remote teams by creating these chitchat moments where you get to know each other that happen naturally in a physical office, but remote workers don't really get to interact in that way a lot.
Research shows that talking about hobbies and interests isn’t just fun, it helps us do our jobs. Sharing our interests can be more productive than talking about work. Research has shown repeatedly that brainstorming about work during breaks makes employees less productive. It also has a positive effect on mental health!
But research also shows that talking about non-work topics during breaks doesn’t make employees less productive. In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect. People return to work feeling refreshed, and that helps them stay productive.
Perhaps these positive effects are just because the water cooler conversation is more relaxing and less taxing. Or maybe it's that talking about non-work topics helps people see connections between their work and their interests. Either way, when employees have frequent chats with their colleagues, it not only improves their mood, it improves their work.
Get started on remote Water Cooler conversations in chat
Casual conversation between peers is possible now in chat.
The watercooler command sends conversation starters to a channel or room where anyone can jump in.
Type @DailyBot watercooler to get conversation starters in a channel, you can all respond via thread.
- Anyone can set up a "virtual water cooler" by running @DailyBot watercooler in a public channel.
- DailyBot will send conversation starters on the selected days.
watercooler: Set up water cooler questions somewhere in the chat (public channels)
watercooler off: Turn off the automatic questions somewhere in the chat.
- Periodicity is weekly. Participants can choose whether to activate this command on regular weekdays or on custom days.