Leveraging each other’s expertise is what makes being in a team all the more useful. Yet, avoiding silos at work is easier said than done, even when working together in the same space. It is even harder now with remote working for all its many other benefits. So, how do we re-capture the serendipity of teams? 

Silos at work 

In my old investing days, I would often go into a colleague’s office and shoot the breeze about a potential investment that I was working on, particularly if I was overly enthusiastic or overly pessimistic about it. I found these casual, impromptu conversations to be priceless. They were fertile ground for unlocking new approaches and ideas.  

But, how do we recreate the serendipity of water cooler conversations and unplanned discussions when stuck working from home? The option of remote working brings so many benefits, especially during a pandemic. However, I am not sure there really is a substitute for something so organic as strolling into someone’s office for a chat, or grabbing a coffee on the fly. 

Re-creating the serendipity of teams 

Perhaps, one idea is to ‘normalise’ the impromptu phone call (or video call) again? And, to oil the wheels of communication with explicit agreement amongst the team that it wouldn’t be unexpected for team members to call each other without having a pre-arranged time slot.  

I do not know what the answer is. But, I do see what is lost. Perhaps, noticing the problem is in and of itself a start — noticing that lonely work silos erode the serendipity of teams. And, perhaps with collective experimentation we will find new ways of re-capturing it! 


life coaching londonHarsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.

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