In many physical workplaces, having coffee together is a normal part of the day. In Sweden there is a special name for these coffee breaks: “Fika”. Many people wonder if it’s possible to replicate these coffee breaks online. This podcast is dedicated to how to do just that. Thanks to Adrian Potter for the inspiration.


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Tips for hosting a virtual coffee/fika

  • SCHEDULE YOUR COFFEE. Unless you’re working in a virtual office, you are not going to accidentally bump into each other online like you would near the coffee machine. With a remote team, unless you’re working in a virtual office, you’ve got to schedule your unstructured time together.
  • USE VIDEO. Use a great video tool so you can see each other. It gives the feeling of all hanging out together in the same room.
  • KEEP TECHNICAL PROBLEMS TO A MINIMUM. Make sure you have a great internet connection, a quiet background, or a headset so that it’s easy to hear each other. Conversations are much smoother when the technology is running smooth.
  • BYOB. Bring Your Own Beverage. When we work in an office together, someone usually ensures that there’s enough coffee and snacks for everyone there. But online, remote workers have to fend for ourselves and bring our own beverages and snacks. However, this is a great opportunity for getting to know each other. What kind of drinks do your colleagues like? What’s the story behind that mug? You’d be surprised what can be learned from simply eating and drinking something together.
  • USE ICEBREAKERS. Icebreakers are quick questions that help get the conversation started and let you learn something about each other. And they are a great tool for starting conversations. For example: what are you eating and drinking – and why? What are your favorite coffee treat? Take a picture of your shoes and show others what you’re wearing. Note: some people are uncomfortable sharing personal information – it should be ok for people to opt out of  participating.
  • PLAY GAMES. Whereas icebreakers are quick questions, games last a little longer and are just as much fun – if not more. Management 3.0 has some great games like Personal Maps or Moving Motivators. Prelude is a trust building exercise that helps teammates become attuned to each other, cognitively and emotionally. Dr. Clue organizes virtual treasure hunts for teams.
  • GET CREATIVE. Try watching a video together and talking about it. Try a recipe exchange – make someone else’s recipe and show it. Talk about your favorite movies, books or music. Try a quiz. And if you dare, try a virtual dance party. Toga party anyone? 😉

 

Having virtual coffees/fikas is not that hard. We just need a little creativity, a good internet connection, a decent webcam, a beverage/treat of choice and some icebreakers and games to play.

 

Useful resources

Tools for remote teams

137 – How To Stay Social While Working Remotely

166 – Why Virtual Coworking Rocks

44 – Virtual Icebreakers For Remote Teams

74 – Team Building Adventures With Dr. Clue

79 – How To Create A Sense Of Togetherness On Your Remote Team

141 – How To Create A Sense Of Community Online

36 – 5 Tips To Simulate The Office Online

104 – Virtual Team Celebrations

 

 

 

 


Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland

 

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