First in a series of wellness technology innovations from Powell Software helps remote employees connect socially with colleagues and keep workplace culture alive
London, January 18, 2021 – As the third UK lockdown continues and many countries around the world face severe restrictions, Powell Software, a global organization creating digital solutions and tools for the digital workplace, has launched the first kind virtual coffee machine, an application within Microsoft Teams to ensure that employees stay better connected, positively engaged and take regular breaks while working from home.
With employee wellbeing at the top of the global workforce agenda for 2021, Powell’s Virtual Coffee Machine app positively connects employees through virtual chats to maintain a culture of unity, even when ‘they are separated.
Replacing the lack of in-person coffee, HR can quickly set up a virtual coffee machine break in any Teams channel, encouraging employees to take regular short breaks while inspiring networking and socializing among colleagues.
Matthieu Silbermann, Chief Product Officer at Powell Software, said: “The effects of the pandemic have reshaped the digital workplace and research has found that three-quarters of employers intend to move some employees permanently to remote work. However, with one in five remote employees citing loneliness as their top complaint about working from home, building solidarity must be a top priority.
Have a virtual coffee
HR can set up a Virtual Coffee Machine meeting in any Teams channel by setting the time, frequency, date, and number of people. The app then uses an algorithm that collects data from employees enrolled in Powell Teams, automatically compares Outlook calendars, and generates meeting invites based on meeting criteria. For example, if the meeting criteria for the virtual coffee machine has been set to a maximum of five people and ten people are available to attend, two meeting invitations will be sent.
Virtual Coffee Machine consciously avoids one-on-one meetings or full team meetings, focusing on creating short, intimate social breaks where employees can take time to engage with colleagues in a positive digital space. Colleagues can also “travel” to virtual offices located in different locations in their organization to meet colleagues for a coffee break in different virtual buildings.
Employees don’t know who else will join the group until the event, to encourage different team members to meet, chat and get to know each other. The app automatically books an agenda and also suggests icebreakers like “what was the last movie you saw or booked”?
If a team member is unwilling or unable to attend a virtual coffee meeting, they simply decline the meeting invitation.
Silbermann continues, “Powell Software is passionate about connecting employees to their organization and each other, ensuring they have a positive and engaging work experience, every day. Remote workers need to be connected, they need to feel part of the company, the culture and feel able to socialize in a hybrid or remote workplace.
“Powell’s new Virtual Coffee Machine app is all about the employee. We all miss the little downtime in the office, whether it’s at the coffee machine or the cold water cooler. Coffee Machine allows us to see our workplaces gradually come back to life positively in a virtual way, fostering connectivity, collaboration and employee well-being.This is part of a larger goal and series of initiatives to bring the building to life virtual.