I love coffee. I think it not only helps me to open my eyes in the morning, but it also helps connect people in extraordinary ways. Perhaps my love of coffee comes from my roots as I lived near Italy, or maybe it is because my grandmother used to prepare coffee for me since I was little – whatever the case, I just love it – and I have taken my love of coffee and it’s powerful connections into my life here at Cisco.
I think that coffee always tastes better when you’re in good company.
We work hard at Cisco – it’s true, but from time to time we need to stretch our legs, relax our eyes, and rehydrate or grab a cup of coffee. There is something so magical about heading to the coffee machine, preparing your cup, and taking it to a quiet room to call a colleague and catch up. Not familiar with this feeling? I hope by the end of this post you consider it!
Perhaps you feel this is “nothing special” – that it is just a cup of coffee, just a routine part of your day. But what if I told you that my colleague was in the United States – that he jumped into our virtual coffee call from his local coffee shop – and that we make it a point to do this regularly?
Since I am a part of a global (virtual) organization – GVE at Cisco, beside the interaction from my local office colleagues, I have done my best to also spread my connections with peers in different countries all around the globe. Thanks to Cisco collaboration tools, it’s not hard for us all to keep in touch, provide help, and collaborate no matter where you may be located.
From quick chats on Jabber to meetings and trainings on Cisco WebEx, and deep collaboration on team projects in Cisco Spark – we are constantly connected. It is one of the many things I love about working at Cisco, and I encourage you to use these tools to reach out and make new friends within the company. J
So what should you do if your Virtual Coffee colleague is on the other side of the ocean? Here are a few tips I would recommend:
1. Schedule the “Virtual Coffee” Meeting in Advance – this helps avoid awkward situations like being redirected to the VoiceMail or interrupting your friend during a customer meeting – not to mention ensures that the time works for both of your time zones. Scheduling in advance means you both have this time on your calendars available, which makes your virtual coffee meeting something to look forward to.
2. Decide on how are you going to make a video call. This will help alleviate any confusion. You can create a WebEx meeting, call through Jabber or use a video bridge number in case more people are invited. What I personally prefer is a direct call to the person through a video-endpoint. In the quiet room in my office we have an EX90 which gives me one touch accessibility and an immersive, full HD experience! With that setup I can enjoy my coffee, be completely hands-free (body language is also very important), and focus on the conversation regardless of where the person is!
- Keep in mind that Cisco employees can work from various locations (home office, cafeteria, park, or another Cisco office) so this will play a key role in adding to your conversation as well as well how they may answer the call (on another video-endpoint, Jabber, Spark, tablet, smartphone, etc.) – there really are so many options at Cisco!
3. Make a few notes on what you might want to discuss. Nothing too formal, but perhaps there is something you do not want to forget to mention – maybe it is a big project you’re working on, a question you need help with, or a fun personal update. Just write down a little note and keep it next to you as a reminder. J
With these simple tips, I hope to show you how you can also participate in coffee meetings around the globe at Cisco. We offer so much flexibility on how and where you can have a “virtual coffee” and what is most important is that Cisco provides us the possibility to stay in touch with our peers from everywhere, with the possibility to share some work-related topics, discuss projects, study, practice a presentation, or to talk how we spent our last holiday with family.
Perhaps it is just coffee for you, part of your daily routine. But, maybe now you can also see how a small cup of coffee has a global reach when you add a little virtual meeting to it.
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