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On the unofficial fantastic Teams updates #3 (Nanowrimo 2020)

This time, our update is on a smaller scale than the first two. Nevertheless, it may be an important addition to your everyday work experience. As many people work from home, jump from virtual reunion to virtual reunion, the social aspect of work is often forgotten. Therefor we present: the virtual coffee corner. It is an open video room that can be added by your company to enable colleagues to discuss the latest news in an informal setting. 

It is known that the coffee corner has many benefits for an office, but also in schools, where it is more known as the “teacher’s room”. First, the place provides caffeine. Yes, with Teams, that is possible. Companies can order Teams-synchronised coffee machines that will make a coffee that resembles an average taste beverage. This is an extremely low-cost object that can be sent by post to any of your employees. The usual coffee lady, or –man can set the time from home, so they can work from home too, and when the coffee should be served, the machines will all turn on simultaneously and a cup of coffee gets poured. This synchronises the work of the employees and could be seen as an indirect way to control and organise the work of your people. 

There are two versions of this coffee machine available, one with integrated plastic cups, and one for which the user should foresee his own cup. There is space for different sizes of cups, even for those weird specimens with wacky text printed on them. Don’t forget, everyone in the company gets coffee at the same moment, so communicate those times if you work with the reusable cups, they must be put in manually. If not, coffee will spill all over the table. As in certain countries, tea is more demanded, we are currently working on a synchronised boiler. The programming of this unfortunately took more time than we anticipated, as we don’t have many people in our company who have tea during their break. And we had no clue where to start. 

That was all about our new machine, let’s have a look at the videoroom, and this may be the biggest improvement for the online workarea so far. This virtual corner is always accessible, there is no need to start a meeting. You just click on the coffee symbol that appears after the update in the vertical ribbon on the right and you’ll get straight into the room. For your pleasure, other symbols can be downloaded to replace the original. What is so special about this room? There is no way to see who is inside the virtual coffee room before entering, just as you can’t see it at your building. We specifically chose to do this to give our users that special feeling you get when entering the coffee corner: will your favourite colleagues be there? Is that annoying guy or girl already gone? It is all a surprise with the virtual coffee room. An exciting moment of the day. Just what you needed to distract the mind. 

As you cannot avoid the room if someone is inside with whom you wouldn’t talk naturally, it figures as a connector. Just as in real life. Remember that day you found that quiet colleague and started talking about the bad coffee and where better doughnuts were available? You discovered that you had much more in common than anticipated. You even became friends and go to the same bar on Friday night. With the virtual coffee corner, these encounters come back to life! So get your juicy gossip ready, click on the coffee button, and make some friends! 

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