Swapping Google Hangouts for the Real Thing

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It’s no secret that COVID-19 hit the United States especially hard and continues to wreak havoc on what’s left of familiar social practices. Masks now cover our friendly smiles in public, standing in someone’s six feet bubble prompts discomfort, and daily walks seem like a vacation. Home quickly transformed into the office, the gym, daycare, your favorite restaurant, the movie theater, and most everything else too. To be frank, it’s driving us crazy… but nonetheless, staying home seems like the safest option.

Although many states continue to reopen and attempt to recreate the “normal” life people once knew, fear continues to blanket the country. Many working Americans would prefer to work from home instead of returning to the office. According to a recent OnePoll survey, 59% of Americans feel unsafe using shared spaces in the workplace, and 36% worry they can’t return to work without putting their families at risk of potential infection. The nation grapples with ways to increase productivity by promoting a safe return to the office.

After many months of seeing our co-workers through tiny boxes on our computers via Zoom or Google Hangouts, the biggest thrill of meetings is the fact that we can wear pajama bottoms with a collared shirt. How can the nation move past the infamous “technical difficulties,” glitching, and frequent interruptions from family members in order to get employees working together at the office?

How can we recreate meaningful workplace interactions again? What will it take for people to reconnect in person?

Life at the workplace can return to “normal” by doing “normal” things safely. For example, coffee serves as a unifying drink that brings people together. Coffee break, coffee date—you name it, people will gather around it. Although the office coffee machine might be temporarily out of order, that doesn’t mean we can’t provide coffee to reenergize employees and meetings. Give workers something to look forward to; give them an excuse to come into the office. Everyone is itching for a reason, right?

With GOffee, employees can have their favorite drink waiting for them in the morning and reengage with their co-workers. There might be more masks and more hand sanitizer than usual, but it’s a simple, meaningful start. Besides, our kitchens were never meant to be a coffeehouse anyway.

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