Finding the Workplace Water Cooler

Or, for those I worked with at the ’bux, finding the new coffee kitchen.

My last office-based job was in a culture that valued meetings and “connecting over coffee” on a daily basis. Face time was king – even though you could still find yourself emailing or IM’ing the person sitting in the next cube.Water cooler. Image courtesy of stock.xchng®

As a freelancer, I have very few standing meetings on my calendar. It’s refreshing to know that the minutes (or hours) scheduled with a client are all about being productive and achieving goals. It works for me.

But I do miss the coffee conversations. There’s always phone calls and meeting friends for a morning or afternoon caffeinated beverage, but it’s not quite the same as picking up a mug and asking a favorite co-worker to go make a latte with me. I loved the casual opportunity to brainstorm and play with words.

So, during the 8-5 grind, what replaces those in-person chats? The phone and Facebook. Mostly Facebook. I love that I can see if a friend is online and chat – it can be a quick way to get a second opinion or just to connect with another person. I also like that I can drop a quick line to lots of friends or join in a string of comments on someone’s status update. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to hallway conversations.

Twitter can be a work break, too, but it’s more like a stream of news and articles than updates on friends or co-workers. Are you a Twitter fan? Find me @jesakalong.

I can’t imagine going back to office life, but sometimes I do find myself searching for the perfect project so that I can partner with another writer. In the meantime, I can catch up on TV gossip and old co-workers with a five-minute stop by Facebook.

See you there? I’ve already got my coffee.

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One thought on “Finding the Workplace Water Cooler

  1. Ah, connecting over coffee. I’m sure it’s an adjustment – good for you for using Facebook! Scheduled discussions that are focused? Ahhh. You’re in a good spot.

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