Is serendipity even possible
in a remote office?

With the rise of remote work, one persistent myth keeps returning: there is no serendipity.

Serendipity: finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

And yes, In the office you would bump into people on your way to the watercooler. It was easy to pick up on other conversations. Serendipity by default.

But many confuse what’s easy with what’s possible. Remote work offers far more and better possibilities for serendipitous moments.

In a remote-first office, most communication is virtual. On a regular day, I’m in contact with people from Bangalore, Boston and Barcelona. And I continuously bump into interesting discussions in Slack, Confluence and on Zoom.

I do not limit the boundaries of my interactions with the coffee area on the second floor.

But indeed, you do need to put in the work.

“The real magic of connections at the office was that we were having these connections without trying. It’s not that they were better, it’s that they were effortless.” — Seth Godin

So how do you it? How to create serendipity?

#1: communicate often and share openly. Create your work in documents open to everyone in your company. Invite others to comment and discuss.

#2: make time for personal interactions with your team, but also outside your team. Or simply spend some extra time before a meeting talking about other things than work.

#3: join special interest groups like a toastmasters or book club. Type a couple of your interests into the Slack search box and join the channels and discussion.

Start creating those serendipitous moments with people across the globe.