Wojtek Ryrych
creative writer & web developer

Positive aspects of chit-chatting at the coffee machine

In this article, I show positive aspects of chit-chatting at the coffee machine and eating together. Unless you are a yesteryear manager that thinks of employees as underlings, read on. People are most valuable assets that need breaks and coffee.

The positive aspects I will cover:

  • Forgetting about deadlines and bad days
  • Broadening Perspective
  • Making bonds stronger

Forget about deadlines and bad days

The weather is murky, it’s raining and you enter the dark office. This empty place you are going to leave last. No sun, no hope. Hiding your face in the hood is the only escape from the approaching deadline. It is 7 a.m and the hero mode is on. Colleagues come and greet with you, but you are not interested. How are you? Mark asks you. Nice. I have a deadline, I have to finish it. Sprint after sprint the cycle repeats itself.

Will the world falls apart if you do not deliver the feature? No. Will putting nose to the grindstone make it happen? No. Burning the midnight oil burns you out. Leave the office after 8 hours if you want to serve your client in the future. It’s time to wake up! Consider this scenario. Hey, Joe!, take it easy! Let’s have a break! You join the rest of your teammates, and one of them cracks a joke. While IT jokes make you wonder where the heck you are working, coffee fills up the air.

After ten minutes the deadline is not that scary. Changing place or talking to people refreshes your mind and you get a new perspective. Without regular breaks, you will not be productive. If you feel guilty of it should have been done! all the time, it’s time to take a break.

Broadening Perspective

As human beings we need other humans to grow. Unless there is a strong reason, we prefer working for a company to meet our colleagues than for money. Personally, I have learned tons from colleagues during casual conversations. Building company starts from values, healthy atmosphere and passionate people. I can recall many situations in which people gathered around the table and discussed big ideas, theories, or brand new gadgets. This has always broadened my perspective and helped me progressed on tasks.

What’s up? Making bonds stronger

Reviewing pull request makes you tired so you squint eyes and look out of the huge screen. The colleague that sits on the other side of the room is doing the same. Your eyes meet and you know that this is the dinner time.

– French or Polish place?

– Italian one!

– Let’s go!

The colleague returned from holidays so you can ask him how he spent his time, where he was, or what the weather was like. Stepping out of jargon gives both of you chance to learn more about yourselves. It is a chance to build teams of connected people. Dining out is also an opportunity to escape air-conditioning and artificial lighting. How will you feel after an hour of a walk, chit-chatting and eating? Guess: the invested time will pay off!

People first would suffice, but the awareness that people are assets not resources is low. Regular breaks and casual conversations are essential. What would the office look like if you took all the people out of the building? Will the coffee machine be able to deliver anything? Next time you are about to measure time spent at the coffee machine, ask yourself.