It is no secret that in recent years the workplace has shifted to working from home for many people. And even though working from home has many advantages, unfortunately many spontaneous social interactions between colleagues are lost. An example is the classic shared coffee break. However, what works in real life can also be moved into the online world! The virtual coffee break helps to strengthen team cohesion and its implementation is certainly not a science. In this article we share tips on how to make your online coffee break a success!
What is a virtual coffee break?
A virtual coffee break is a deliberately chosen time to bring employees, colleagues and teams together for a nice get-together, chat and brainstorming with as little effort as possible. Virtual coffee breaks can either be used as a break for a longer meeting or actually as a “coffee meeting” to connect remote teams and employees working from home. It doesn't matter whether the participants already know each other or whether the virtual coffee chat is a low-threshold offer to make it easier to get to know each other. The digital coffee break usually lasts 15-30 minutes and can take place in very small groups (2 people each) or in small groups.
Whether as a couple or in a group, the following coffee break ideas are a great way to break away from everyday work life and do something nice together for a short time. It is important that the break is kept really short so that employees don't feel bad about wasting valuable working time. When designing the coffee chat, you should also consider whether the participants are people who already know each other well or are just getting to know each other. Depending on your popularity, some coffee break games are more suitable than others. Have fun with the list!
Idea #1 for the virtual coffee break: Blind Coffee
The blind coffee format is particularly suitable if there are many new employees or if your employees have been working from home for a long time and you don't want to lose contact with each other. It is therefore a really nice way to spend the coffee or tea break together. It's best to use the donut app to randomly throw employees together. Alternatively, you can send a form to everyone once a month so that those interested can register. Afterwards, everyone who has registered will receive a calendar invitation so that they can keep the period free. On that day, employees can enjoy coffee or tea together via video call and talk about everything other than work.
Idea #2: Chocolate meditation
It doesn't always have to be coffee! Another idea for the virtual coffee meeting is to include a “real” break for relaxation. A chocolate meditation, for example, is ideal for this. This can be instructed by a team member or employee or you can simply use a YouTube video. You can find out how to do a chocolate meditation yourself here , and you can find the 6-minute YouTube video here . If you would like to take a whole chocolate break instead of a chocolate meditation, take a look at our virtualchocolate tasting options . These can be perfectly installed as a break, especially in larger meetings.
Idea #3: Conversation topics for the virtual coffee break
Whether in pairs or groups, having a list of questions to hand never hurts. They can be available as a guide for the coffee klatch. Possible questions are:
- Coffee or tea?
- Chocolate or gummy bears?
- What is your earliest childhood memory?
- Which is your favorite holiday destination?
- What makes you particularly happy?
- Are you currently reading a book/watching a series and can you recommend either?
- What is your best tip for taking a break in the home office?
Idea #4: The 'Podcast Interview'
This idea is only suitable for larger groups who, for example, want to take a break from a longer meeting. Colleagues interview each other in podcast format. Selected employees can think of questions before the meeting or you can give them input. The “podcast” then takes place live during the virtual coffee break. The aim is to get to know certain employees better. It's particularly great if you use the "podcast" to introduce new employees or team members.
Idea #5: A picture of yourself
This idea is suitable for a rather larger group break. To do this, ask all participants to share a picture from their lives in advance in a shared online document (e.g. using a Google presentation). The participants can freely choose the picture, the only important thing is that everyone can tell a short story about it. This activity is suitable for teams that have known each other for a long time as well as for teams where the ice needs to be broken at the beginning.
Theyo tip: whichever idea you choose, suggest to the participants that it is best to have their virtual coffee break standing. This brings activity and makes the whole thing more dynamic. Studies also show that most employees do not get enough exercise when working from home.
FAQ virtual coffee break
What is a virtual coffee break?
This is a selected period of time that is used for meeting participants, (new) employees or existing teams to spend a relaxing time together. The virtual coffee break can be used as a break in a longer meeting or as a conference break .
What is the ideal duration for a virtual coffee chat?
We recommend that the duration should be an average of 15 to a maximum of 30 minutes. Less than 15 minutes could be more rushed and not in the spirit of a break. And it could take longer than 30 minutes, and most people don't want to be away from work for longer. In many companies, 30 minutes is also a standard for meeting duration, so this length fits perfectly into busy schedules.
What are good ideas for organizing the digital coffee break?
You can organize the virtual coffee klatch in different ways. Virtual coffee break games are available or simply smaller formats that can be carried out for the coffee break in a team, in larger groups of employees or with external participants. It can be carried out by individual participants or by experts. We at Theyo are always happy when we can create tasty chocolate events as a break for you.