Introduction: Water cooler moments. What are they and what do we do when we can't have them?

This is the first update on these research pages. Given the social and working practise changes brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak, we wanted to investigate the effects on people of loss of certain workplace practices and customs. One such staple of workplace life, for many, is the water cooler moment. These chance (and sometimes 'not by chance') encounters seem to create opportunities for people to meet certain social and work-related needs such as gaining information, organising social events, developing relationships, gaining reassurance on work and social standing, making new friends and even finding partners. We wanted to look into the extent to which these and other social needs are met at actual water coolers and other similar office focal points such as cafe queues and coffee points and also to what extent it might be possible for people to find other, virtual ways, to meet these same needs.

So this update and those that follow it will track our research journey by highlighting interesting scientific papers and experiments that we come across and letting you know where we are with our own findings.

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