10 smart reasons to install an office water coolers
Do you wonder why office water coolers talk is important in today’s digital-centric world? Start here, and remember there are many more reasons, too.
1. It builds the company culture.
A strong company culture often gets overlooked, regardless of whether your staff is working out of a physical office or a virtual office. A company is essentially a group of people who are working towards a greater good, and the more you can drive this home, the greater the potential for the company.
No business can grow without having a strong base of employee engagement and internal culture. Employees need to feel comfortable and confident for a positive company culture to develop. Culture is often born from shared interests, many of which have nothing to do with work. No matter how you cut it, water cooler chat helps enhance company culture by bringing people together on a more personal level.
2. It brings people out of their shells.
Social anxiety is a real thing in the workplace. People who suffer from social anxiety often have difficulty conversing with others. This leads to communication breakdown … which can then lead to missed appointments and a lack of focus. Even though you can’t fix social anxiety over night, water cooler talk helps to bring people out of their shells. Let them mingle. This can be a major step in the right direction for those who choose to operate in their own corners.
Along with that, people often leave their jobs because they don’t feel comfortable where they work, and water cooler talk is just one small thing that can help ensure this doesn’t become an issue for your organization.
Turnover can be one of the most difficult things for CEOs and managers to deal with, especially when they’ve spent a great deal of time onboarding new employees. The more you can do to reduce turnover, the less headaches you’re likely to encounter.
3. It provides casual facetime with management.
If employees are afraid or hesitant to talk with their managers, your business will suffer. Unfortunately, this is rather common in the business world. There are ways to rise above, and more often than not, casual conversation is the answer. People are more likely to open up when the conversation is about personal interests and not about work-related details. Water cooler chat is ideal for people to get more comfortable with managers.
4. Water cooler chat leads to improved collaboration.
In order for employees to work together on a project, there has to be trust and respect between them. One of the best ways to streamline collaboration is to have employees interact with each other on a more personal level. Allowing them to take breaks and discuss non-work-related topics can help enhance this relationship, ensuring they are comfortable with each other to collaborate and do amazing work.
Some people find it easy to work and collaborate with people they don’t know. Others need a degree of shared personal interests for collaboration to be at its best. Getting to know someone before diving into complex tasks together can make a huge difference. Instead of structured “meet and greets,” encourage employees to get to know each other during their downtime. As they build personal relationships, project collaboration becomes much easier.
5. Office Water cooler talk improves productivity.
Unsurprisingly, today’s business leaders are looking for ways to improve workplace productivity. Some people feel that workplace chatter goes against productivity, but they’re wrong. People need to chat with each other to de-stress and step away from their work now and then. When they return, they’ll have a fresh mindset and be more productive.
6. It promotes a healthier staff.
Modern professionals are no strangers to workplace tension and stress, and it seems as if the potential for tension is greater as businesses become more successful. Tension is something that should never get in the way of a productive workday.
When staff members 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 lot of managers and CEOs overlook the importance of keeping staff members healthy. A healthy employee shows up to work on time, maintains a positive mindset, and works to grow the company. Stress can have a huge impact on health, and taking time to forget about the workday is important. In a physical office environment, water cooler chat also promotes getting up and moving around, which is never a bad thing.
7. It creates great ideas and solutions.
Coming up with great ideas can take a lot of work, and providing a platform for discussion can help speed up the process. Just because people don’t constantly talk about work around the water cooler doesn’t mean great ideas and solutions can’t come as a result.
You might think your employees are discussing sports statistics (and they probably are), but the next thing you know, regular conversation can lead to the spark of a light bulb. Some ideas that come from water cooler conversation may even influence new products and services. It’s a casual way to brainstorm and problem solve. This means your staff members are actually working when chatting around the office water coolers.
8. It brings remote employees together.
There are many reasons why businesses embrace remote employees. Working remote creates possibilities that don’t exist when people work in a physical office. But, remote workers are sometimes faced with certain challenges, too. For one, it can be difficult to get to know your colleagues when you don’t get to interact with them face to face. office water coolers chat in a social community is the logical and most effective solution to this problem.
9. Office Water cooler talk improves employee engagement.
Employee engagement levels can make or break performance within a business, regardless of industry. Improving employee engagement should be a top priority for anyone in a leadership position.
Give staff members time to decompress in the company of their peers. This type of camaraderie will help build friendship and trust between employees, which will ultimately improve morale and engagement levels in the workplace.
Employees that just show up and go through the motions are often described as disengaged employees. Everything falls apart when engagement levels suffer, yet it’s a common problem for many businesses. Working against disengagement is a challenge. Fortunately, engagement rates will improve if you let employees relax and converse around the water cooler.
10. Relaxed office water coolers chat policies lead to increased respect for management.
Managing employees isn’t easy. The best way to get people to do good work is to gain their respect and show that you trust them. Most people are looking for a work environment that doesn’t stress them out, so providing that will get you a lot of extra points. Respect levels will increase if you make it clear that you aren’t going to police anyone. Let people take some time out if you want them to enjoy working for you.