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Remote work has complicated effects on employee engagement.

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43% of remote workers miss the water cooler chats with co-workers

In its second research into attitudes about remote work, PwC surveyed executives and 1, office workers in November and December and found that US executives and employees are converging around a post-pandemic future with a lot more flexibility. Yet, few are prepared to abandon the office altogether.

Most of the employees and executives surveyed expect this hybrid workplace reality to take shape in the second quarter of this year. Yet, collaborating with team members and building relationships have undoubtedly taken a hit. Before the pandemic, the office water cooler was where employees bumped into each other and socialized with colleagues about work and non-work-related topics. Technically more of a concept than an actual water cooler impromptu team lunch, a run-in in the hallway, or just a quick coffee breaksuch casual, informal conversations enable a conducive company culture.

They facilitate team bonding, eliminate departmental silos, help employees brainstorm ideas, and improve productivity and engagement.

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While remote working has its benefits, such as more family time, flexible work policies, and the capacity to work in a relaxed environment with no need for business attire, lack of social engagement has left employees anxious, stressed, and isolated. As seen above, the future of work is the hybrid work model — a mix of remote and office-based work. However, even when some of the employees return to the office, water cooler chats are less likely to return to normal, with the psychological effect of the pandemic deterring people from being too close to each other.

Additionally, they use other channels for communication and collaboration, such as a company newsletter that communicates company news and updates, and a dedicated channel for fun conversations. Digital workplace platforms and modern intranets provide great functionalities that can be used as part of the water cooler experience.

These include —. Such platforms leverage AI to help users connect with the right people by recommending relevant SMEs to dispense relevant knowledge and assist with current projects. Social collaboration features, such as enterprise messaging apps, blogs, and discussion forums, help employees chat on the latest news, updates, and company events and share their thoughts on various topics. Or carry out an informal chat on the latest movie, the weather, or a new restaurant opening up in the city. Moreover, the management can showcase employee rewards and mention their outstanding achievements on the platform for all to see — increasing motivation and alleviating their sense of esteem.

Employees can pitch in their opinion, provide feedback on company initiatives, and contribute to critical business decisions that help improve employee and business outcomes.

An idea management system fuels innovation by allowing teams to brainstorm, develop creative solutions to everyday business challenges, or find new ways of doing work. Employees can capture, upvote, or comment on ideas, and the management then shortlists the best ideas.

Employees can share their ideas through a one-click content creation tool that offers custom templates and drag and drop features for a seamless authoring and editing experience. Here is a list of compelling reasons that should convince organizations to bring back water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace and implement a virtual water cooler system —. At Acuvate, we help organizations build and deploy a modern intranet with our autonomous SharePoint intranet solution called Mesh 3.

Water cooler talk & icebreakers: 6 benefits for your remote team

Mesh brings together all the apps and tools that help leaders recreate water cooler chats virtually in the hybrid workplace. To know more about Mesh 3. Backed with a deep understanding of customer needs and technology, she le the SaaS business unit with an upshot of maximizing revenue while ensuring customer satisfaction.

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5 ways to encourage virtual water cooler conversation

Digital Workplace Bringing back the water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace By Poonam Chug No Comments Home Bringing back the water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace. Bringing back the water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace. Water Cooler Chats in the Hybrid Workplace. AI-driven content personalization. SME Finder.

Bringing back the water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace

Social collaboration features. Or carry out an informal chat on the latest movie, the weather, or a new restaurant opening up in the city Moreover, the management can showcase employee rewards and mention their outstanding achievements on the platform for all to see — increasing motivation and alleviating their sense of esteem.

Polls and Surveys. Idea Management System. Content Management System. Why should organizations bring back water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace? Here is a list of compelling reasons that should convince organizations to bring back water cooler chats in the hybrid workplace and implement a virtual water cooler system — Fuels innovation by allowing ideas and varying views to cross-pollinate Improves communication and collaboration amongst dispersed workforces Helps HR retain the best talent Enhances employee engagement and productivity Provide employees a sense of purpose at work and allows them to understand the value they add to the company Helps employees get comfortable with managers and make them more accessible in the future Promotes the emotional well-being of employees Alleviates employee stress by creating a more relaxed environment at work.

How can Acuvate help your organization bring back water cooler chats for hybrid workers? These include — Internal communication tools Collaboration tools AI-driven content personalizers Intelligent idea management Multilingual capabilities Expertise Finder To know more about Mesh 3. Get in touch with our experts.

How has your team replaced the water cooler chat?

Poonam Chug. How KM systems can help in building an effective and productive workplace.

MESH 3. Mesh 3. An Employee Experience Platform powered with AI, it finely manages the data for enhanced collaboration, communication and engagement.

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