A few months ago, in an effort to inject a little bit of calm and normalcy at the beginning of our work week, my leadership team adopted a Monday morning "coffee hour" on Zoom. We've always been a distributed team – primarily out of Kansas City, Birmingham and Washington D.C. – but it wasn't until the pandemic was well underway that we began this weekly ritual.
I have been in a distrubted team – as a leader or an individual contributor – for nearly a decade of my career. But like most people the pandemic made me feel like a prisoner in my own home. The world hit a pause button on nearly every aspect of life. Many, including myself, dove headfirst into the grind of work and spent more hours in front of the keyboard even if it wasn't productive.
The only rule of Monday coffee time is that we try to stay away from work topics because we want everyone to step back from their obligations and have a little bit of genuine human interaction. Quite surprisingly, we have never actually talked about our morning beverages of choice. Some of the more recent topics that have come up:
- Pandemic parenting
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Homemade wedding cakes
- Methods of smoking turkey/chicken
- Hiking and bicycling
- Home improvements
- Past travels
For those of you that have been considering carving some time out of your week to bond with your team we have found this to be an especially good way to begin the work week. Those of us that have been in a distributed work environment for awhile may say that this isn't new or original, but I think we can all appreicate the stress and difficulty over the past seven months. And for some of us it may continue well into the next year.
So try it out. If you don't have a topic in mind there's always the weather.