Newsfeed is the New “Water Cooler”

As we all know, water coolers do more than just cooling water. It’s the place where employees connect and share the latest news – so why not taking this online? Welcome to Cabaana’s Newsfeed!

By Victor Ruiz

When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home – Betty Bender, motivational speaker
When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home – Betty Bender, motivational speaker

During any regular day at the office, workers need that little moment of breaking away from the workload. Either you call it water cooler or coffee machine, there is little doubt on the benefits of the casual ambiance such a place offers to engagement and productivity, when it is used in a responsible way.

A little chat between peers by the water cooler may be very useful, almost a necessity, when we feel overwhelmed due to the amount of work, but such chats can also be a fantastic way of brainstorming and sharing ideas and information.

For many years, the water cooler has been a synonym for relief and also a symbol of engagement at workplaces, in the sense of breaking up day-to-day monotony and starting a casual chat with your co-workers. Many companies who have realized this have always encouraged such exchanges between its employees because such conversations not only strengthen working relationships, but they even help transform work relationships into personal friendships. Both such relationships (work and personal friendship) help forge stronger bonds that contribute to create a sense of belonging to the company, which will pave the way for the pursuit of common goals.

So many nice stories have been built and told around water coolers. I have mine too, though in my story, the water cooler is substituted by a coffee machine.

Just another water cooler story

Around a decade ago, I was working at a local radio station as a writer and a presenter, but more as a writer. One of my colleagues there was Lucas, a friendly guy and a hard worker with whom I still have a good friendship, in part thanks to memories like this that I’m going to share.

On a cloudy and bleak winter Tuesday morning, our boss at that time, who was the editor of a daily sports news programme, asked us to write a story to connect the different news of that day. Honestly, we had no idea what to write. Due to organizational reasons, our desks were in different rooms, so we accorded to brainstorm individually and then try to share our ideas to check if we could build something minimally “acceptable.”

After half an hour with the mind in a blank state and the pressure increasing, I decided to go to Lucas’s desk and tell him about my frustration. He was in the same situation, so we went to the coffee machine to take a break and try to ease our minds. As you can imagine, we were fed up with trying to build that story, so we began to chat about trivial stuff like what we did the last weekend and shared some anecdotes.

A couple of minutes later we started talking about sports, our shared passion. Then, magic happened. We began to come up with fresh ideas that could be the beginning of the end to our nightmare. Suddenly, we found the way to make that story grow. In what may be considered as an act of superstition, we moved our desks next to the coffee machine. I prefer to see it as a gesture of thankfulness towards that sacred space that gave us the inspiration to finish our work.

I wanted to bring back that little moment of glory just to illustrate how a place like that can contribute to both engagement and productivity.

However, these water cooler moments are usually short. The fact is that we spend most of the time sitting in front of the computer. And yes, let’s admit it..sometimes we waste a lot of time lazing around the internet. This is an issue that brings headaches for the managers quite frequently.

In addition, what happens to remote teams that don’t have the option to share a physical space?

Cabaana’s Newsfeed

Wouldn’t it be great to have a place in the company that joins the best of the water cooler spirit with the possibilities that our technology offers? Why not taking the water cooler online?

One of the features that Cabaana offers is its Newsfeed. It is the application’s main social feed in which posts by all the users are published, as well as any relevant actions or events that happen on the platform. For instance, the creation of new huts, new posts or comments published, the kudos given by other users or obtained thanks to the overcoming of challenges, notifications of new followers, the ‘absence status’ (one of the most useful characteristics to let others know in which place the employee is working, or if the worker is ill or on vacation), notifications of personal data changes, etc.

newsfeed-2

The user must follow other users to see their posts on the Newsfeed, giving sense to the social media concept ‘follower’. Nevertheless, there are exceptions: for example, when private huts are created or when kudos are given privately. In these cases, only the users that have been invited to private huts and those that received private kudos could see the posts.

The main elements of the Newsfeed are the posts, in which there is always the possibility to leave comments and replies. This way, conversations can evolve to different levels. Besides, with the aim of giving emphasis to the posts that become more relevant on the newsfeed, the platform provides a button called ‘heart’, so that the users can show their acknowledgement of certain posts. Posts can be deleted by the admin or by the user himself. Another important feature is that users can upload as many files as they want in the format of their choice (pictures, songs, PDFs, etc.).

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Finally, the Newsfeed is complemented with huts (which we had talked about earlier here), providing a complete project management experience, and at the same time offering a collaboration experience as well, thus increasing employee engagement.

This article is the last one of this series, in which we have shown and explained the different features that Cabaana currently offers for your company/team. We truly hope that you have enjoyed them and that you now see Cabaana as a helpful tool that will make your teams grow and improve.

As Jim Morrison would sing, “this is the end, my friend”… but we are not Jim Morrison, so don’t worry, this is not the end of this journey because Cabaana will continue to add more features with its newer versions.

Stay tuned and See you soon with more interesting topics on Employee Engagement, Happiness, etc.

Collaboration through Huts

Ever been lost while were trying to look for a report from one of your past meetings? What if there is a streamlined manner in which you could store all project related communication and documents in a single space? Wouldn’t this make your life much easier? Welcome to Cabaana Huts.

By Victor Ruiz

Bora Bora (French Polynesia) at night. Not a bad place to be at this time of the year, isn’t it?
Bora Bora (French Polynesia) at night. Not a bad place to be at this time of the year, isn’t it?

Let me begin by sharing an anecdote. After a year of internship at a major Spanish shipping company, a friend of mine was officially given an offer to become an employee. For the first few months, his work was not very different from what he did as an intern. It involved mechanical inventory tasks, some report creation tasks, and most importantly it entailed the all critical function of serving coffee to his superiors.

However, his patience and dedication for a few months ensured that his first real opportunity to ‘shine’ at work finally arrived. Delighted with his work till then, his boss entrusted him with the preparation of a document related to a Japanese group which was interested in investing in the company. Although the boss had assigned a few other people to help him out, my friend was the leader. It was not necessarily a task of the highest importance, but my friend rightfully realized that this was an opportunity that came his way as a sign of his boss’s confidence in him.

It took several weeks for him and his team to put together this document, but they actually got it done two full days ahead of the planned meeting with the Japanese investors. He received congratulations from his boss and from a few other important leaders in the company. His boss hadn’t planned on having my friend attend the actual meeting, but after reading the document, the boss decided that he was the best person to explain some of the document’s key points.

The big day had finally come and my friend had everything under control. In a kind of pre-business ritual, he put on his lucky suit. Well, his only suit to be honest, carried his lucky fountain pen, splashed on generous amount of his lucky perfume, and of course was getting ready to print the document to distribute to his audience, which was on… Wait…A…Moment…

Where was the document?

He was 100% sure that he had saved it on a specific folder that he created for this purpose, but as a result of a tragic and apparently impossible-to-explain computer failure, the document was not where he was expecting it to be. My friend panicked and called his colleagues & team mates asking for the document. They couldn’t find it either. They all believed that it was his responsibility to ensure the safety of the document.

In the eyes of everyone in the whole company, it was clear. This was his FAULT.

Don’t worry!! My friend could eventually locate the document and it all ended well. More importantly, he still has his job at the same company. But it was a very embarrassing moment for him. The only consequence of that slight mishap was that there was a considerable delay in the meeting, which inevitably resulted in he being taken to his boss’s room for a good sound-off.

What I really learnt from his story was that the lack of streamlining & organization of information and loose collaboration among the employees were the two main factors that caused the embarrassment, and that it is crucial for companies to have appropriate tools to guarantee the same.

That brings me to the next point. What about you and how is this in your company?

Have you ever been frustrated when you had to find a document buried under several layers and several folders when you need it urgently?

This is where Cabaana could make a huge difference in the life of everyday teams, trying to focus on overall efficiency.

Cabaana provides a single space for all your project related communication and collaboration. This space is called ‘Huts’.

Huts are nothing but the hub of all team collaborations. You can organize your team’s collaboration activities either through private or public huts, use “threads” to filter specific topics of discussion that are being worked on, and/or share files and other data within Huts. You can also search for information in those threads inside the huts (they can be deleted when obsolete). In addition, Huts can be used for activities in which not all the team is involved.

In short, Use Huts to get work done.

Huts is a tool designed for knowledge sharing and project management. A Hut is a well-organized and streamlined document storage space for documents that may have to be accessed several times or that are vital for both the team and the company.

Huts are similar to Forums that contain threads for their respective topics. Threads are the starting points for communication on specific topis and knowledge sharing. Hut members can comment, ask questions and answer others’ questions. In addition, members have the capability to upload files that they consider appropriate.

Cabaana provides both Public and Private huts, the latter being only accessible by those users who have been invited by the hut owner (that is, the creator of that hut). Public huts, on the other hand are visible to all users, who can join or leave whenever they want.


Huts don’t need to be for work purposes alone. Users can create huts to share jokes, hobbies, sports, memes, anecdotes, etc.

As a secondary level of categorization of threads, users can use tags. This enables the search mechanism to work even better.

As you can see from the above, through this feature called Huts, Cabaana provides a productive collaboration space with streamlined information, making “lost information” a poor excuse.

This series on Cabaana Features is almost at its end, but I am not done unveiling all the features as yet.

So, Stay Tuned!