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
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?
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.
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.).
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.