Coworker Coffee

Coffee with a different coworker each week

#5 Product of the DayNovember 15, 2015
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If you've ever worked in a big organization like me, you'll know how hard it is getting different departments to collaborate together. And a great way of kickstarting collaboration is over coffee. In a very similar way to Serendipity, we've been matching different coworkers in different departments for a few weeks now, and so far the results have been really good. It's worked really well with a couple of government organizations and also one dev shop with remote employees across the world. Happy to answer any questions, and thanks again @erictwillis for the hunt :)
@alangarrec Cool concept. I think constantly about how to connect community members with each other. Of course, people who work at a specific company are one form of "community", and an often very disconnected one in large organizations.
Thanks @drewmeyers I think the larger the organization, the greater the benefits for adopting a scheme like this. I have a friend at the government who now goes mountain biking with someone he didn't even know worked there after randomly being paired up two weeks ago. I think the random element to it also helps breaks the ice when getting to know people you probably wouldn't contact otherwise.
@alangarrec awesome. Just signed up. I'll watch for your email. Thanks!!
@alexputici cool, just got your form submission, I'll drop you an email tomorrow. Nice slogan by the way "You work for yourself, but that doesn't mean you have to work by yourself"
@alangarrec Thanks! Much appreciated :-)
Alan, this project become more interesting if you'll add ability to integrate it with company's intranet. This way, collegues will not have to register by themselves, but they will be registered by some script and will receive invitations for a cup of coffee automatically. What do you think?
@svetlyak40wt this would be perfect...but the problem is you then need to go through various layers of management to get something approved. So far we've found it's growing quicker at companies where coworkers spread the word amongst themselves after having their first coffee. Then once a tipping point is reached (so far once about 20% of employees are signed up) it's much easier for someone to give approval to do something on a company-wide scale. At that point I think integrating with a company's intranet is a fantastic idea as you suggest...
@alangarrec @svetlyak40wt we have about 6000 people at our company. Do you have any success stories in the companies of similar size?
@svetlyak40wt We've actually got some employees from Microsoft trying it out now but it's a bit early to gage success as it's only their first week. Our biggest user is a government department with around 3000 employees, of which we've had nearly 700 signup - so I'm guessing there was some kind of internal memo sent around (they've been using it for a few weeks now before PH launch). Will shoot you an email this afternoon :)
This is a great idea. I worked at a company that had a generic system for eating lunches with different co-workers. This is clean and simple and coffee dates sound like a great way to get to know and collaborate with people at work. A great idea to build new friendships and a stronger culture at work.
Thanks @ryanloper we've heard from a few different people now saying their work had a similar scheme, but it normally fizzled out because it was managed by a single person at the company. I think an automated system that matches people up for just a 20 min coffee is all it needs. I think lunch can be a bit much and often would be with 4 or 5 people at a table, which makes talking a bit harder.
Does this address large companies that work out of multiple buildings (and states)?
Great question @rkho, once a few people from the same organization sign up we then add the option to select office location. However there's also been a lot of interest in remote coffee breaks. Does the remote aspect interest you, or are you thinking more "same location coworker coffee breaks"?
@alangarrec I'm thinking more like same location/same city breaks -- my company has multiple offices in San Francisco, and many more in other states.
@rkho sure! It works both ways - as we setup the locations manually. If you have multiple offices in a city and want to only match coworkers from the same office that's fine. Or users can select the city they're in and are matched with other coworkers in the same city (regardless of office).
Awesome concept @alangarrec - I've started a coworking space and would love to use this to build community. How would that work if everyone is technically from a different company? Can we somehow import a list of emails or something?
Sure @alexputici! You're one step ahead of us, but yes we plan to open it up to people at different organizations who work close to each other, but for launch it was a bit easier to just match people based on their email addresses. Just sign up as yourself for now, and I'll send you an email about getting people from different places grouped together, and I can just do a bulk import for you.