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Guest Writer
August 2, 2016

Five ways to create more connection in the workplace

Happy Thursday! Today we’re having our first guest blog, written by Tom Laterveer & Hagar Michel from Animo. Animo is a Berlin-based organizational happiness and teamwork firm that facilitates, trains and consults companies in building an organization people love to work for. ...

In our previous article A plea for more connection in the workplace we made clear why connectivity in the workplace is important. We spend most time in the office, but don’t know our co-workers that well at the end of the day. This while science and practice prove that feeling connected has many benefits in fueling personal and organizational performance. From our experience in helping teams work better together, we’ve selected a few very effective tools to inspire more humanness and connectivity in your team. Introduce them in your workplace with consistency and verve — and we are positive you will soon see the effects in your team.

1. Do a daily huddle

Ever seen a team sport that doesn’t do a huddle? Or Japanese children, for that matter? By gathering together with your team for 5-10 minutes every morning, you can do a quick check-in on how each of you feel and what you’ll be working on today. This office-huddle encourages you to share information with your colleagues, and at the same time helps you to be up-to-date on how they are feeling and what’s going on in their (working) life. It will take some deliberation and practice to get used to the huddle, but it soon becomes second nature and a cornerstone in your day.

2. Display your mood on a mood-board

The IT department of a Danish company decided to place a mood-board in their office. Upon daily arrival, employees place a green or red tag next to their name. Green means “I’m having a good day”, while red means “I’m having a bad day”. The mood-board helps the team to share important information on their mood, giving space to making their member feel trusted and valued. This method also provides little space for people to walk around feeling bad for weeks. After somebody has put up a red marker for about a week, people come up to them and ask (and listen!) what’s up. We all have bad days, and they all pass. Instead of feeling the need to put on a happy-face, openness on their mood makes it easier for them to get out of a negative mood-state. In a way, it also gives people permission to have a bad day.

3. Start your meetings with a check-in

People can bring a lot to the table when they enter a meeting. Maybe they’re tired, or generally have a bad patch or bad day. A check-in gives room to these feelings, so that they do not have to be brought into the meeting (and maybe hi-jack it at a certain point). During the check-in that takes place right before a meeting, people just exchange information on how they feel. This requires no prior time-investment, no agendas, and no resolution on topics. These short periods allow people to identify in which ways they feel connected to (or disconnected from) the work at hand, the group process and their colleagues. Next to this, minor issues can be easily resolved through this face-to-face contact.

4. Build your companies’ ‘Wall off Praise’

Remember how good it feels to receive praise? To hear that you’ve done really well on as task, or in a relationship with someone? (Hint: glowing, beaming faces. Yes?). A London-based innovation agency invented the Wall of Praise. The idea is that every employee can nominate any other employee for their good deeds. The best nominations are pasted across the walls and ceiling in the busiest area of the office in big and colorful letters. The Wall of Praise, as the name easily suggests, gives us a hand in telling each other what we do well. We are all good at criticizing. Let’s talk about what others (and ourselves) do well. And what better place to see this in your meeting and reception area? Now all you need to do is to place a jar where people can put in their nominations, decide how you’ll determine the ‘winners’ and put them in the spotlight.

5. Do a level 5 greeting!

So we just talked about the mood-board displaying ‘good’ and ‘bad’ moods. What about ending our list of tricks with a trick that will enhance the likelihood of you and your team having (or getting) a ‘good’ mood? You surely can relate to the following list that sums up the different approaches to saying good morning at work:

Level 0: ignoring others completely.

Level 1: grunting to the others.

Level 2: saying hi or good morning. Avoiding eye contact is key at level 2.

Level 3: Level 2, only now including the eye contact.

Level 4: Adding an extra verb or sentence. Maybe even asking a question like: “how are you?”

Level 5: Mix in some touching, a handshake or a pat on the shoulder. Hugging is allowed (as long as the other person agrees, of course).

How often do you approach your good morning ritual at work with a level 5 approach? How often did you think about your morning greeting at all? Just try the level 5 greeting, and find out the effects yourself.


Tom & Hagar would be curious to hear about your experiences with the tricks they gave you in this article. You're always welcome to share experiences, or give suggestions, or just randomly talk to them. Feel free to shoot them an email here. Also, if you enjoyed this content, you can click here for even more insightful articles.

" People matter! Community was always what we were all about. ‘’

In June we launched #PeopleInbeta - our monthly blog post series in which our Content Manager - Vihra interviewed teams and freelancers from the betahaus community to present the variety of creatives we have in ‘haus, to understand their missions and get some useful advice for our audience. We talked on topics such as sustainability (with PlanA) , decentralized digital identity (with JOLOCOM), curated music experiences (with Bespoke Sounds), freelance photography (with Sara Herrlander), full-stack development (with Obst Digital), design (with LAUDO) and much more.

Interview with LAUDO at betahaus | Neukölln
Interview with Obst.Digital at betahaus | Neukölln

"The Summer is the best time to host Backyard sessions and BBQ’s’’

In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ. 

Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture. 

Freelancers, Unite! at betahaus | Neukölln

Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails. 

The Backyard Sessions at basement.berlin
Movie Screening at basement.berlin

This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.

‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)

''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’
- Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus) 

The Garden at betahaus | Neukölln
My Friend's BBQ at betahaus | Neukölln

"As a coworking space, you have to give stage to important topics.’’

This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.

betaSalon at betahaus | Kreuzberg

"We should fight for a more human-centered tech development’’

Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.

Techfestival. 2019 in Copenhagen

"Startups are transforming European football as we know it.’’

One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.

"You should leave time for the things you love most’’ 

This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.

We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.

Love at The betahaus Holiday Party 2019

Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.

With love,


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