Plan for spontaneity
We miss running into people in the hallway. We miss meeting friends of friends or as academics call them our ‘weak connections’. Those moments of serendipity sparked some amusing conversations and interesting people to meet. How can we replicate that feeling?
What if you planned virtual ‘watercooler’ moments to help energize a hybrid workforce?
Last year I ran a daily coffee break with one zoom room and an open invitation for anyone to pop in. I shared the link with my groups and contacts and those people shared it with theirs. During this 30-minutes meetup, we joined, met new people, had a quick coffee chat, got inspired and connected with old friends.
Some even scheduled their working hours and meetings around our coffee break! It was that important during time of no-socializing in 2020.
Find a time and place for chance meeting and side learning to happen. Create a remote coffee break room, invite colleagues to an online game before work, have a daily check-in routine with random employees just to say hi or run a simply storytelling session daily. Basic rules applies in any such interaction: No agenda, no job titles, welcome random conversations, and most importantly, listen. Perhaps this is the greatest gift of online communication, we are forced to listen to speakers one at a time.
Consistently matters. This is the best connection you can create without much planning ahead or getting permission from anyone.