Our daily cup of coffee together... long distance


Institutional Communication Service

23 March 2020

All set up for working long distance: laptop, internet connection, password, testing Skype audio and video. In your favorite corner of your home the day goes by with a different routine. Though it still feels like something is missing... Staff memebrs of the Institute of Digital Communication Technology, eLearning Lab and USI UNESCO Chair have decided to continue the tradition of coffee break between colleagues even at a distance, for a healthy daily chat to exchange experiences, impressions and advice.

USI offices 129 and 130 decided to meet long distance, to keep the ritual of the daily coffee break among colleagues. "It is an informal daily meeting, open to those who wish to participate. We are a very diverse group of people, some are away from their families, others have to reconcile working from home and looking after their children, others find it even harder to get used to this new way of working" explains Anna Picco Schwendener, postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society and scientific collaborator at the eLearning Lab. In order to share such different experiences, Anna thought to extend this initiative to her colleagues, finding in Google Hangout Meetings the right tool: "Everyone has the opportunity to share their day, between challenges and positive experiences. The exchange focuses on aspects of work, new tools used, but also on the daily life, for example giving advice on recipes and readings" continues Anna. These alternative coffee breaks generated further ideas from colleagues: the creation of a shared folder for suggestions - such as titles of films and books - that everyone can update, a spotify playlist to share music or a whatsapp group called "USI#distantimavicini" to further encourage interaction even among those who are not able to attend the daily online session but still want to take a "break" from the working routine, feeling welcomed by colleagues.