Virtual Water Cooler: Unique Potential Of Informal Communication Poonam Chug April 6, 2020

Virtual Water Cooler: Unique Potential Of Informal Communication

Virtual Water Cooler Unique Potential Of Informal Communication

Millennials, a significant share of our workforce, are costing enterprises up to $30 billion in turnover annually. However, this turnover rate halves for those operating in a high-trust culture.

With more remote workers and distributed teams across many cultures and industries, businesses are conscious of this investment and are spending more time and resources into creating amazing corporate cultures digitally too.

Did you know: According to a study, 80% of the successful ideas implemented by teams are born out of informal conversations?

A quick coffee run or a short hallway conversation aren’t lost moments of productivity. These little moments help strengthen company culture by fostering rapport, encouraging idea exchange, and breaking silos. Consider the example of Hootsuite’s CEO, Ryan Holmes, who attributed to #randomcoffee encounters to a company-wide culture transformation. 

With the world moving around remote working, the advantage of these coffee breaks is a distant dream. Cohesive company culture and office camaraderie regardless of location seems a possibility with the advent of virtual water cooler.

What is a Virtual Water Cooler?

Imagine remote workers having access to this kind of channel to connect with your colleagues in the Digital era.

A Virtual Water Cooler is an online version of the water cooler in your organisation. A cool digital environment to share ideas, discuss what’s trending, stay updated with relevant content and get easy access to the “experts” who can help with your current tasks/activities.

Acuvate can help you setup your Virtual Water Cooler with Mesh 3.0

Mesh 3.0 is an Autonomous Intranet solution that will help your employees to get access to the right information, at the right time depending on their interests/activities.

It functions as your Social Digital Water Cooler by providing the perfect platform to collaborate and communicate with your colleagues. Some of the social features of Mesh 3.0 include:

  • SME Finder: AI powered approach to “recommend” relevant Subject Matter Experts based on the user’s role, interests, activities, location, preferences etc.,
  • Personalized News/Information: AI powered filtering of News/ Information to help the user manage information overload.
  • Discussion Forums: To share your thoughts and have discussions with your colleagues
  • Polls/Surveys: Contribute to the Org wide queries by sharing your opinion in polls/surveys.
  • Idea Management: Platform to contribute your ideas towards business challenges to help with the growth of the business.
  • WorkBench: A “WordPress” like one-click content creating, editing and publishing tool to help employees easily share their thoughts through blogs/articles etc.,

Advantages of the Virtual Water Cooler

So why should you deploy the virtual water cooler within your Digital Workplace?

There are a lot of ways how the Virtual Water Cooler can assist in improving the business efficiency in your organization. Let’s talk about the 2 most important reasons to get started:

Enhance employee engagement to boost employee productivity

If employees don’t feel “engaged”, their productivity suffers. When employees feel engaged and a part of the organisation’s success, they feel empowered, they are willing to make changes and contribute towards the business growth.

Mesh 3.0 provides a platform to collate all the “mentions” and “achievements” of the employee across all Office 365 applications. This provides a sense of purpose at work for the employees. It helps them know how they add value to the growth of the organisation and encourages them to strive for more.

Mesh 3.0 leverages AI to “understand” the employee’s interests by keeping a close tab on his/her activities across the Office 365 applications. This knowledge about the employee’s profile and preferences helps in providing the right information and access to the relevant subject matter experts. Getting access to relevant knowledge helps the employee complete his/her “complex” activities with ease, thus ensuring that the employee produces better results.

Improve collaboration and communication

With our busy work schedules, we always feel that we need to lock ourselves out and get the work done. But often, we don’t realise how important it is to take a break and communicate with our colleagues. Collaboration works because it brings in a mix of ideas, expertise and perspective to find answers to important questions.

The Virtual Water Cooler enables employees to collaborate and communicate with people they may not know. Getting to know people, before working on any tasks together, enables easier project collaboration, knowledge sharing and team binding.

It provides a channel to connect with people who have knowledge about a specific product/process. This will help in saving a lot of productive hours since employees can easily find out the right expert to help with his/her current activity.

With the current trend of remote teams, the Virtual Water Cooler assists in ensuring that your teams stay connected and continue to contribute towards the business growth. Mesh 3.0, the Autonomous Intranet portal, provides the right launchpad to leverage your existing investments in SharePoint and deploy your AI powered Virtual Water Cooler that empowers your Digital Workplace.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our experts for a personalized consultation.