Around the Water Cooler
Meet Hospitality has long recognized the need for gathering and creating experiences for unanticipated connections. One of the pillars that Meet Hospitality was built on was the idea that breaking down hierarchies allows for creativity and connection to flow naturally. The essence of the water cooler culture.
Earlier this month, the NY Times shared the story of the chance encounter of Professor Katalin Kariko and Dr. Drew Weissman at the copy machine which eventually led to the blueprint of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. These chance encounters, whether at the copy machine, the water cooler, or the coffee station have been the impetus for off-the-cuff ideas, plan-making, re-energizing, and relationship building for decades.
The corporate world has learned many valuable lessons in the shift to remote working. However, one lesson that managers, owners, and colleagues alike are quickly learning is that the lack of spontaneous meetups can impact productivity and job satisfaction over time.
Some of the benefits of water-cooler conversations include:
- Building company culture and employee engagement
- Improving collaboration and creativity
- Reinforcing a healthier workforce
- Allowing for interaction with different levels of workers in an authentic manner
- Bringing people out of their shells/bubbles in an unthreatening way
While the workforce has been shifting for many years prior to the pandemic and allowing for new virtual “water cooler” opportunities (note the ebb and flow of Clubhouse, Zoom Cocktail hours, Virtual team buildings and more). The fact remains that nothing can replace the energy of human interaction.
Luckily, each Meet Hospitality meeting space features a pantry where beverages (still and sparkling water, juices, tea, coffee and soda) are readily available throughout the day. “Everyone tends to gather in the kitchen in a private home, that is the idea with our pantry,” explains Sara Schiller, co-founder and CEO of Meet Hospitality. “To create a hub where colleagues and friends gather and connect on a personal level.”