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.
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 smoothly.
- 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. For example: what are you eating and drinking – and why? What is your favorite coffee treat? Take a picture of your shoes and show others what you’re wearing… and there are a ton more. 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. 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 (a delicious cinnamon roll never hurt anyone), and some icebreakers and games to play.
Podcast production by Podcast Monster
Graphic design by Alfred Boland
- Dr.Clue. Virtual and in-person treasure hunts for teams. (See my interview with Dr. Clue at https://www.collaborationsuperpowers.com/solve-the-puzzles-of-teamwork-with-dr-clue.) (https://drclue.com)
- Management 3.0 Personal Maps exercise
- Management 3.0 Moving Motivators exercise
- Play Prelude. “The Prelude Suite empowers virtual team performance by accelerating trust in three steps. As teammates become attuned to each other, cognitively and emotionally, trust naturally grows.” (http://www.playprelude.com)