Watercoolr was born out of research demonstrating that standard video conferencing was not meeting organizations’ need to foster casual, informal conversation amongst coworkers.

Pre pandemic organizations had the luxury of relying on the happenstance of physical offices, and coworkers
regularly bumping into one another to ensure informal communication and collaboration needs were met.

And it turns out those unstructured, adhoc encounters were critical to
large high performing organizations’ productivity in a host of ways.

Top Ten Reasons cited that Informal workplace engagement is essential to organizations' productivity and efficiency

Maintaining backchannels and feedback loops that depend on confidential communications uninhibited by hierarchical structure or public disclosure.
Providing motivation, and inspiring personal commitment
Fostering personal connection and nurturing responsibility to the team
Reinforcing shared mission and shared purpose;
Avoiding siloing of information
Minimizing fragmentation of effort and supporting interdepartmental coherence
Encouraging percolation of new ideas through informal brainstorming
Reinforcement of best practices and frustration of negative ones
Nurturing of talent, mentorship and career development
Equity through greater transparency and access to decision makers over career advancement

The biggest research study on the impact of remote work on productivity and collaboration was done by Microsoft who looked at pre and post remote work collaboration of some 61,000 plus Microsoft employees.

The effects of remote work on collaboration
among information workers

Analysis of billions of emails, texts and other indications of connection amongst coworkers pre and post pandemic led MS to conclude in unambiguous terms.

“Employees’ needs for informal contact and spontaneous interaction are not being met in a strictly work-from-home environment.”

"What We’ve Lost"

From the employees perspective they reported

  • 65% of employees feel LESS connected to colleagues and workflow
  • 42% feel knowledge flow is reduced
  • 51% report communication flow is limited
  • 36% of respondents report Ad Hoc meetings are down.

And the analysis also showed a 25% reduction in the number of coworkers employees remained in touch with leading one of the co authors of the MS study to caution.

“When you lose connections, you stop innovating. It’s harder for new ideas to get in and groupthink becomes a serious possibility.”
– Dr. Nancy Baym, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft

And more generally,

“In light of these findings, companies will need to take proactive measures to try to help workers acquire and share new information across groups, so that productivity and innovation are not impacted,”

Remote work is making productivity and innovation harder, says Microsoft study

Remote work is here to stay and organizations who
want to remain competitive must adapt.

PEW study recently reported that of 60% of workers whose job can be done remotely more
than 60% continues to work from home and preferring to do so despite their offices having
reopened. WSJ reported recently that ⅔ of the office workforce remained remote.

Watercoolr is powered by Shindig’s
proprietary virtual events platform.

Shindig is the state of art virtual events platform on which Watercoolr is built.

On Shindig, a host can give a presentation to 1000’s, selectively bring any in the audience to the stage in a click or open a podium for first come first served, town hall style questions. There is even a virtual backstage for a producer to prepare speakers before giving them the stage (no “is this working” awkward moments) or to pre-screen prospective audience questioners. And before or after the main presentation the host can raise the “house lights” and allow participants to enjoy shindig’s proprietary “work the room” networking, circulating around the audience and joining in small private conversation groupings at the click of a mouse.

Shindig clients include:

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