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Water Cooler Topics & Conversations – UPDATED 2021

Water Cooler Topics & Conversations – UPDATED 2021
Water Cooler Topics & Conversations – UPDATED 2021
Believe it or not, many studies have documented the essential role of casual conversations in the workplace. Water cooler talk is a term that refers to casual but what are the best approaches to water cooler and the topics.
Posted in: Culture
Water Cooler Topics & Conversations – UPDATED 2021
Water Cooler Topics & Conversations – UPDATED 2021

Water cooler talk is a term that refers to casual discussions that employees engage in about non-work-related topics at the workplace. This type of conversation has been proven to improve communication and cooperation in the workforce, thereby building teamwork that results in improved productivity.

Let us try to understand how water cooler talks benefit the organization and employees and take a look at some of the most common topics and conversations for water cooler chats that reinforce a positive work environment. 

Water Cooler Topics & Conversations – A Complete Guide

Office Water Cooler Talk

There is so much to gain in an environment where water cooler chats are allowed. However, there is an etiquette that employees should follow to make sure the conversations remain productive and don't attract any negative consequences. Water cooler chats are great ways to discover each other's interests and common hobbies.

However, some topics of conversation like religion and politics are too heavy and sensitive. Discussing these topics can create stress in the workplace. You should also discourage conversations about salaries and promotions. Talking about money can sometimes hurt some employees. Also, let the employees know that you will not tolerate spreading any rumours or gossips.

Here are some of the most common points worth talking about at water cooler breaks.

  • -Tell me a joke.
  • -Which app do you use the most?
  • -What is the last thing you will think about before dying?
  • -Does your pet do strange things?
  • -What books do you think are worth reading?
  • -Share a bizarre fact.
  • -Name three things you can't imagine living without.
  • -Name a thing that costs less than $5 but gives instant happiness.
  • -Tell a moment where you regretted your action instantly.
  • -What is currently happening in your city?
  • -What is something you don't want to try again?
  • -What would you want to be – lucky or genius?

Water cooler conversations are often about the current sports games and television shows or web series. They can be anything that boosts casual talks and give the employees a refreshing break from the work. The best topics are those that don't need a lot of knowledge. They simply promote the exchange of ideas and let everybody share their take on the world. 

Benefits of Office Water Cooler Talk

Water Cooler Topics

Employees always look for a workplace where they can communicate freely, collaborate openly, and build relationships. Encouraging casual conversations is one way you can meet the collaborative needs of your employees. Water cooler talks not only keep your employees engaged and motivated but also help create a strong company culture and teamwork that benefits your organization in the end.

Here are some of the benefits of office water cooler talks that you cannot ignore.

  • -Water cooler chats improve employee retention
  • -They help people break out of their shells
  • -Water cooler conversations lead to better collaboration
  • -These talks allow employees and managers to be transparent and approachable
  • -Water cooler chats also help brainstorm solutions
  • -These conversations offer a social atmosphere for work-life balance
  • -Casual breaks allow face time with management
  • -Water cooler talks create new ideas
  • -They are a great way to bring remote employees together
  • -Relaxed policies about casual breaks increase respect for management
  • -Water cooler talks improve productivity

Water cooler conversations are also important for building trust and teamwork in organizations where employees work remotely from home. Digital water coolers help build a company culture which can be challenging when teams work from different offices. Such conversations can help them know each other and stay engaged and productive. 

Should You Stop Water Cooler Talks? 

Some companies and managers who think water cooler talks are a productivity killer tend to discourage breaks in the workplace. They might limit the break time of employees to short intervals because water cooler talks have conjured up negative connotations. These employers might think that their staff may use the break time to gossip about co-workers and managers and therefore discourage any casual conversation in the office.

While their intentions may be right, what they don't know is that they are missing a chance to build a more productive and engaged workforce. By doing this, in fact, they are adding to workplace stressors that lower the quality of work and morale of employees. Water cooler talks should not be stopped. Everybody needs breaks at some point; employees are not machines.

Water cooler talks give the employees the much-needed break to refresh their minds by engaging in casual conversations with colleagues and enjoy each other's company. This will build employee relationships and affect the business positively. Water cooler conversations are one way to provide a supportive, positive environment necessary for retaining and engaging employees, thereby keeping them motivated and productive. 

Preventing Gossip in Office Water Cooler Chats

One of the top drawbacks of water cooler conversations is gossips and rumors spreading in the workplace. These can harm employee morale and affect their productivity, regardless of how accurate they are. This does not mean employers should discourage the much-needed casual breaks and non-work-related conversations.

Effective internal communication can minimize the chances of gossips at workplace breaks. When the management stays in the loop and keeps the employees updated with the latest information, workplace rumors and gossips automatically reduce. Consider sharing updates, results, and outcomes of new products and projects with all the employees including remote workers.

Employers can take measures to educate the staff about what gossip can cost them and the organization. Remind them that casual talks are one thing and spreading gossip or rumors about co-workers is another. Engage in a one-on-one conversation with such people to correct the behavior quickly. Encourage positive talks by highlighting employee achievements at meetings. By sharing such accomplishments on the forum, you can show them the right way to talk about others at the workplace. 


Water cooler talks are as important in this digital age or even more than in the past. The best employers already know the benefits of these casual conversations.

As these chats help employees connect with each other on a personal level, their engagement, motivation, and productivity increase.

Increased teamwork fosters a positive work environment that benefits everybody and supports the growth of the organization. 

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Thursday, 30 May 2024
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