People like to socialize at work, and it’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing – when coworkers talk about non-work topics and feel socially supported, they ultimately give a boost to individual and organizational effectiveness.
Wisq was built on the belief that coworkers should be able to get to know each other in a fun, casual space dedicated to connection. When you connect with your coworkers, you’re more likely to feel happy at work.
But in hybrid and remote workplaces today, we haven’t had the space necessary to really get to know our coworkers. And we don’t always have the permission to socialize during the workday. Casual socialization might happen at the end of the week during a scheduled virtual happy hour, or it might not happen at all.
We used to have the office kitchen or the elevator ride to chat about non-work things. In a distributed work environment, it simply isn’t easy to find breaks during the workday to replicate those in-person experiences, and we previously haven’t had a dedicated space to do so. Coworkers have several dedicated spaces for solving problems and work productivity, but they don’t have space to get to know each other better.
Micro-connections are lost in digital workspaces. And coworkers miss those serendipitous catch-ups. In a survey of 2,000 full-time US workers released today, Wisq found that 51% percent of workers say they miss having spontaneous conversations with colleagues, and 47% have felt isolated from their coworkers since people started working remotely on a more regular basis.
People want to talk with one another casually, picking up conversations when they have breaks in the day, like they used to in the office. Those communal experiences – the small, shared breaks in our day – help us feel more connected at work. And connection helps build resilience. A sense of belonging at work is responsible for a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days, according to Harvard Business Review.
At Wisq, we believe everyone should have permission to socialize, and we think most hybrid and remote workers don’t explicitly have that permission today. We believe coworkers should be able to talk with one another casually, like they used to in the office – to discover overlapping interests, hobbies and passions in their workday.
That's why we're excited to launch Wisq Lounges, spaces that reintroduce serendipitous connections at work.
Lounges create a new space for employees so they can run into each other – no matter where they are working – and have casual conversations whenever they like.
How Wisq Lounges work
Lounges are audio and chat-based experiences housed in the Wisq platform. (There’s no video – you can give your eyes a break from the screen.) With Lounges, Wisq users have space to talk or message each other in real-time.
Lounges are linked to Groups, so the first step to joining a Lounge is creating a Group or joining an existing Group. In the bottom right corner of the screen, you’ll see a message saying, “Join Lounge” – and you’re in!
Chat with friends who are in the Lounge or invite more people to join – you can share a link with them for easy access. Lounge chats can be 3-minute conversations, 3-hour coworking hangouts or anything in between.
When other people log on to Wisq, they’ll see a “Happening Now” notification saying that you’re hanging out in a Lounge and that they’re invited to join in the fun.
How to keep the fun going with Lounges
Wisq Lounges give people a space to hop in, hang out and keep the spontaneous conversations going. They connect people across organizations who might not connect in real-time otherwise, so they can strengthen bonds.
Lounges can be used for many different things! Here are some examples:
A break room Lounge that you can jump into during the in-between moments of your day
A dedicated lunch room or coffee room Lounge for people to congregate at particular moments of the day
A coworking Lounge for people to hang out in while they work, or
An ad hoc Lounge to talk about the news of the day. You can edit the title or topic to be something like “New Taylor Swift Album Discussion.”
We recommend scheduling a regular Lounge meetup so everyone interested knows they can hop in and hang out.
Try scheduling a Friday lunch Lounge and hear what everyone has planned for the weekend. You’ll be happy you did, and your coworkers will, too.