How to create virtual water cooler moments

Collaboration often depends on serendipitous office interactions that aren’t easily replicated on Zoom.

by Stephen Jones

Among the biggest cultural casualties of widespread working from home has been the ‘water cooler moment’, the kind of serendipitous interaction that occurs when people bump into each other in the lift, on the way to meetings or indeed (if your office actually has one) by the water cooler.

Water cooler moments may seem like pointless chitchat, but studies show they are crucial not only for employee relationships but for corporate innovation and problem solving too. 

When the coronavirus lockdown forced desk workers from the office, we turned to virtual platforms like Zoom, Teams and Slack to fill the void. But an unintended consequence of that was to make our interactions much more formal and regimented.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today