Powell Software's Virtual Coffee Machine is a first-of-its-kind app within Microsoft Teams that helps employees connect with one another and take regular breaks while working from home. The app helps to provide a sense of togetherness, even when teams are working apart, and it encourages work-life balance—which can be a challenge when one's living space doubles as an office.
Virtual Coffee Machine meetings use an algorithm to compare calendars and other factors, so that invitations can be sent to the appropriate number of people for the event. The app intentionally avoids one-to-one and full team meetings, and in doing so, it creates spaces for short breaks with a few colleagues.
As lockdowns continue and people continue to work remotely where possible, innovations are being created to support healthy connections and keep the workplace culture alive.