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Create Virtual Water Cooler Moments

By March 31, 2020June 25th, 2020No Comments

What is a virtual water cooler moment?

It’s leveraging digital tools in imaginative  ways to simulate IRL interactions with coworkers, colleagues, friends, and other people in your network when you can’t meet with them in real life.

In this episode of the podcast, Kelly shares fun ideas for orchestrating virtual water cooler moments during this period of “social distancing” along with suggestions on how to reach out to others and stay connected in “low tech” ways. With empathy and a bit of creativity, you can turn this period of self-isolation into one of great community building.

Key takeaways from the episode:

  • Right now, you must intentionally create water-cooler moments—those spontaneous interactions in the workplace—from your home.
  • Connection can (and should) transcend the bandwidth of your Wi-Fi router, even during social distancing. Try some of my “low tech” ideas to stay connected to your network.
  • Your network is broader than your professional relationships; use this time to make sure those that you care about most know they are on your mind.

What to listen for:

  • 00:39 Creating virtual water-cooler moments during social distancing and quarantine
  • 02:07 What are water-cooler moments? Why are they so important?
  • 02:50 How to create water-cooler moments through video
  • 05:08 Water-cooler moments: no phone or video chat necessary
  • 06:36 Connect with those you care about even outside of your professional circle


  • “Isolating in place doesn’t mean you should be isolating yourself from seeking input, connection, and guidance.” [04:44]
  • “For me, networking is personal and requires thought, deliberation, and in many instances, a good dose of practical creativity.” [09:40]
  • “While the normality of life is on pause at the moment, pause to consider imaginative, caring water-cooler and other sorts of ways to show people in your network that they are top of mind.” [10:01]

Need more? Then check out these posts on the Build Your Dream blog:

J. Kelly Hoey

J. Kelly Hoey is a problem solver who believes that most professional challenges—whether funding, landing a board position or getting a new job—are solved by tapping into networks.Kelly is a popular speaker on networking, community building and investing issues, especially as they relate to women, and has worked with the IEEE, PGA, Bank of America, Apple and countless others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @jkhoey and on Instagram @jkellyhoey and join the #BYDN community at