The gig economy and freelance landscape can sometimes leave out important staples of the onsite experience such as human connection. Psychologist Lynn Holdsworth shared that loneliness in remote work was up to 67% even before the pandemic. However, we at Managed Outsourced Virtual Employees (MOVE), strive to cultivate positive relationships despite our distance. In particular, our biweekly coffee sessions serve as a prime opportunity for us to connect. This blog will reveal just what goes into our coffee sessions and how businesses can implement the same strategies to boost team bonding.
What is a Coffee Session?
MOVE’s coffee sessions are not just a gathering where everyone sips their favorite brew. Moreover, this biweekly event is meant to provide the MOVE team with an avenue to bond and grow professional relationships that can build synergy and community. These meetings also help us reaffirm core company values that strive for productivity and excellence.
As our General Manager Anne Mangahas emphasized, “Our Friday coffee sessions are all about bringing our team closer together. It’s a chance for everyone to hang out in a laid-back setting, have some fun conversations, and really get to know each other. By doing this, we’re making our teamwork even stronger, ultimately strengthening collaboration and understanding within our team.”
The Recipe for a Good Coffee Session
What really goes into our coffee sessions? The recipe for a good coffee session calls for communicative team members, nurturing company activities, and passionate team leaders.
First, our communicative team members serve as the coffee beans— diverse but open-minded. They provide a robust flavor by sharing a part of themselves through each of their stories every time we open up during coffee sessions.
Secondly, our nurturing company activities are akin to a grinder that is meant to help each one of us grow in our relationships and group values. These come in the form of sharing, games, and company culture discussions.
Lastly, an essential ingredient for our coffee sessions is our team leaders, General Manager Anne and Assistant Manager Fae. They are much like the “coffee artists” that help all of these elements mix well. Since they spearhead our coffee sessions each meeting is fruitful. Each of us feels valued and supported even through our computer screens.
The Benefits of Team Bonding
Some businesses might ask why team bonding is important in the first place. Aside from steering away from the lonely culture that remote work has been associated with, team bonding has its benefits.
According to research by Human Transformation Platform BetterUP, employees who have positive workplace connections see an increase of 34% in goal attainment, 36% in well-being, and 92% in professional growth. These numbers show the following advantages of fostering camaraderie in the workplace:
By dedicating time to company updates and allowing everyone to have a say, MOVE promotes a culture of open communication. This approach demystifies the hierarchical barriers and reinforces that every team member’s input is valuable.
The BetterUp survey revealed that employees are more motivated to meet company goals when they feel connected to one another. This not only increases productivity but also enhances team performance. Furthermore, when team members feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about their work and committed to the team’s goals.
It’s hard to work with people you don’t know. Since there is no place like the office to bump into, coffee sessions provide an intentional avenue to bond. This increases trust in one another and our common work environment.
Regularly taking time from work routines to reflect, share, and learn underlines the importance of continuous growth and development, reinforcing a strong work ethic.
Ideas to Boost Team Bonding
How can you boost team bonding in your team? If we can learn anything from the MOVE team, here are a few suggestions to help you with your own team-building efforts:
Include time when you can recognize high-performing team members or milestones. Members of your team can feel seen for the work that they do.
Get loose and organize games related to the coffee session theme of the week. For example, you might play “Two Truths and One Lie” as a Getting-to-Know-You game. In another case, you might play “Four Pics, One Word” to better understand each other’s work quirks.
Sharing is Caring
Allow your team to choose from a set of questions or pick a topic everyone can talk about. Go around the virtual meeting space and learn more about one another without the pressures of another deadline.
The Bottom Line
MOVE coffee sessions are a great part of our work culture that helps us recharge and motivate ourselves for another week. That way we can do what we love to do together— support our clients. It’s not just about updates and discussions, it’s about playing a relevant role in creating a cohesive, understanding, and supportive team environment.
In an age where personal connections can easily get lost behind screens, we value the warmth of human connection. Here’s to more companies adopting such practices and realizing that fostering team spirit is not just about work but also about celebrating the human spirit. Cheers!