Across our social platforms and hundreds of responses, informal hangout time seems to be what people miss the most about in-office. In this poll, 64% of respondents chose non-productivity in-person activities, and when asking about watercooler chit chat and lunch with the team, 75% and 65% of respondents chose each respectively.
Whether you’re in charge of a team or just miss your coworkers, build in opportunities for people to congregate and hang out. Another option is to create passive opportunities to chat, like a group channel or standing Zoom happy hour, lunch or morning coffee.
What do people miss about working in an office?
Here are the clear winners.
Of 323 responses, social time is clearly a missing benefit.
- Teammate lunches: 42%
- In-person meetings: 32%
- Watercooler chat: 22%
A smaller group weighed in two other polls, but the responses lined up with cross-platform input – workers overwhelmingly crave downtime and opportunities to bond.
You don’t have to lead a team or work in HR to drive and shape the culture of your team or workplace. In the past year, a lot has been written about productivity levels working from home, as well as mental health and the feeling of “living at work”. Planning and scheduling time for teammates to come together, ignore messaging notifications for a bit and bond with each other can boost morale and help with retention.
The huge increase of work from home in the past year altered how we work and taught employers, companies and teams valuable lessons about how to hire and how to get jobs done. The missing piece is replicating the impromptu post-work happy hour, chatting for 15 minutes before starting the day and the ongoing quick conversation from 9-to-5.