Get Your Coffee Fixed And Let's Talk About Virtual Coffee Breaks in Workplace
First thing first, coffee breaks have always been an important aspect of a work-life balance, where merely stopping by for a cup of coffee in the breakroom can improve one's mood significantly. Coffee breaks used to be random, sometimes a co-worker just dropped by your desk for a quick chat and a cup of coffee, other times, you might sit down with your co-worker in the breakroom and chat about mundane stuff.
However, in these times of the pandemic where everybody is working from home, there are no more coffee breaks. Although some people might say that working from home gives them more time to take breaks between work, it is just not the same.
This is where virtual coffee breaks come in. Virtual coffee breaks are more planned and not as spontaneous as physical coffee breaks. You need to organize one such as hosting a meeting and informing your colleagues beforehand because simply just waltzing to their desk is no longer an option.
Here are the ways that we can have fun through these virtual coffee breaks, even if effort needs to be put in order to have one.
Although these virtual coffee breaks can be considered to be a leisure activity, always schedule one during work hours or when you are usually working if you happen to be working physically. This way, you are not imposing on anybody’s freetime and give them their daily dose of worker to worker interactions.
Virtual coffee breaks are important because as if left to their own devices, everyone just wanted to be done with what they’re supposed to do and call it a day. Some might even start to work on their future projects just so that they can finish early. While it is good that everyone is goal-oriented and focused, it is also nice that everyone can split some time of their day to talk on trivial matters with their co-workers that they haven’t seen since the outbreak.
The importance of scheduling one is the fact that if it is not scheduled, then no one will deem it their business to join. Scheduling is always the important first step in executing a plan and virtual breaks are the same. Schedule one and start to ease your colleagues into the idea of having regular coffee breaks.
Later on, you don’t have to even schedule one anymore, just dropped a designated link and your coworkers will be joining on their own with no prompting.
If you have something work-related to discuss with your co-workers, keep them for when you are not on a virtual coffee break. Virtual coffee break is supposed to be when you are relaxing away from your work and doing some catching up, so keep the conversation lighthearted and steer clear from serious topics.
Maybe talk about the book that you’ve been reading or how your pets are doing. Talk about how you like your coffee and show off your quirky coffee mugs that you have stored around the house. It is in times like these that you really need to bring yourself away from all the chaos and laugh with your colleagues.
The reason why you should never talk about work during these breaks is that it will deter your coworkers from joining the next scheduled session. No one wants to take a break from work just to talk about work again. Keep track of the topics that you wanted to talk about, or maybe even compile a list before the meeting just so you always know what to talk about.
Sometimes even just the company alone is enough and as the saying goes, silence speaks louder than words. Maybe your coworker can just appreciate your presence even without having to talk.
If you’ve ever been in an online class or an online meeting, you know that you would never turn your camera on if possible. But for your virtual coffee breaks, I disagree. Coffee breaks tend to be 15 minutes at most. Why hide yourself behind your screen while you can turn on your camera and talk to your friends from work and see their expressions. It might take time to get used to but in no time, it will be just like video calling your friends. We never know how long this situation is going to last, so might as well learn to enjoy it.
Even just turning on your camera is significant because we all knew someone who is logged into the virtual meeting but they are not even there. Just for a small portion of your day, spare some time for these little things. Strike up a conversation and talk to each other like how you would in a physical situation. Don’t let the distance make you feel like both of you are on the opposite side of the world.
The title says for itself, if your workplace is not scheduling them, then it’s a sign for you to initiate things yourself. Maybe start off with a small group of coworkers that you’re close with if you’re not comfortable inviting the whole office. Or maybe start off with the whole office so in that way, you’ll kick off a start of something wonderful. Either way, initiate your own coffee breaks because if not you, then who?
Virtual coffee breaks have many benefits that although it may seem superfluous at first, it should be something that is normalized in a remote working environment. Not only does it makes your employees feel connected and appreciated, but they are also more than welcome to this effort of bringing the community together.
During the pandemic, not all of us have the luxury of living with the company, some are living by themselves or stuck with a roommate that is a stranger at best. Don’t let this pandemic be an obstacle that makes your employees feel estranged from their workplace. Use this opportunity to build an even stronger relationship with one another as solidarity to get through this difficult period.
Workplaces aren’t the only institution that adapts to this change of environment, schools are also doing the same. These are all joint efforts to cope with the pandemic, especially to those who are not coping well with the isolation and remote learning.
Students are now also hosting their own virtual coffee breaks, google meet is just another way for them to keep up with their hangout tradition or simply study. Sometimes, having company or simply just knowing that there’s someone beside you (even if virtually) is just the motivation that you need to push through.
At times like these, we are all super thankful to the advancement of technology. If there is a will, there is always a way and this is something that young adults take very seriously. Not even the pandemic is going to keep them from enjoying life. The first few months is hard but it is something that we all learn to make do. Nowadays, just having a coffee date or breaks through a screen is enough to make anyone happy.
As a teenager or a young adult, isn’t the number one thing to do during free time is to hangout with your friends?
Many of us find this as something that is difficult to do with the current protocols regarding COVID-19 safety and social distancing. However, the best thing about being born in a technologically advanced era is the fact that distance is never a problem. With google meet and zoom, organizing a virtual coffee break is something as easy as simply pressing the video call in Messenger.
As a matter of fact, some students have their own link, whether it’s Google Meet or Zoom, that they are using exclusively for virtual coffee breaks. Oftentimes, if you go into those links, there are at least two people that are joining the session.
The one good thing about these links is that you can always join the call on your own and wait for someone to see and join too as opposed to video calls where you have to wait for someone to pick up. This is exceptionally handy for a large group of friends.
Most of us are having online classes right now. In the past, when there is a free period, we’re usually with our peers. But now that everything's online, none of us are going to get to enjoy that free period anymore.
However, think of this as a chance to organize virtual coffee breaks for every free period that you have. Have fun and be rowdy without the supervision of your teacher or professor. Let us try to make those bleak online classes better by making the best out of the situations.
Virtual coffee breaks are also a way to keep the connection between your friends and your classmates because online classes, although they keep your education up to date during the pandemic, don’t do well to help maintain your relationship.
So sometimes you have to take the initiative on your own and organize your own virtual coffee breaks during free periods and keep in touch with your classmates.
The answer to this commonly asked question is social interaction. Humans are social creatures and we are all being isolated and kept apart as far as 3 feet for our own safety. Some countries even go as far as to ban public display of affection in public because COVID 19 is such a contagious disease.
At first, it might have seemed like we were given a much-needed vacation or an extended break, but 1 year later and the situation doesn’t seem to be any better and most of us learn to cope with this pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean that we are all not suffering from this social distance. Social gatherings are still a huge risk for infection and most of us still stick to living at a distance from public places because we want to keep us and our family safe.
This is why virtual coffee breaks are so important because it keeps us grounded to the people that we are working and studying with. It helps remind us that these people are going through the same thing and why shouldn’t we do our best to keep ourself and the people around us positive.
We can only fight a negative situation by spreading positivity and self-created happiness. The point of having a virtual coffee break is that you can manifest your usual routine, the coffee breaks that you used to have before COVID 19. Just because you are working remotely doesn’t mean that you have to keep yourself isolated from everything else and zero-focused on completing the work.
Social interactions are as important as completing the work and it is healthy for our mental health to interact with people and share with them the simple things that made us happy during this period.
Life should never be about the external circumstances trying to force us into, sometimes we have to manifest how we are going to respond to these situations. Mankind has gone through many difficult times before and again and again, we persist through those times.
This situation is going to pass, even if life is not going back to the way it used to be immediately, just keep up with these virtual coffee breaks and have fun in the meantime. Raise your coffee in the cutest mug you owned and cheers, as of now, virtual coffee breaks are the future