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Guest contributor: Alexia Rhodes, Project Management Executive at Business Growth Hub (Written 09 December 2020)


Like many firms over the last 9 months, all Business Growth Hub employees have been working from home since the outbreak of the pandemic. We had a wonderful office environment and many of us missed seeing familiar faces and having informal catch-ups and chats over a coffee. Our office space had no fixed desks for staff which meant that you could be sat next to someone new each day, which allowed staff to get to know people from other areas of the business and not just their team.


Although many of us had acquaintances across the business, the connections weren’t necessarily strong enough to book one to one catch up calls. The idea for Chat Roulette was then born which was intended to recreate the off the cuff, casual conversations staff would have in the kitchen or walking through the office.


Chat Roulette is a 15-minute virtual call where participants don’t know who they will be speaking with until just before the call starts. An email is sent out the day before the event with voting buttons on, where people click ‘yes’ if they’d like to take part. The names of these ‘yes’ voters get put into a hat and pulled out in groups of 6. (The group size varies from 5-7 dependant on the number of participants.)


The groups are sent event invites 1 minute before the event begins with a Microsoft Teams link. When the event time arrives, the participants click on the call link to join the others in their Chat Roulette group of 6 and can see which other people are involved. Introductions take place so everyone knows who the other participants are and then the call lasts for 15 minutes. Although conversation prompts are provided, these are rarely needed as chat tends to be plentiful!


The response to the sessions has been very positive with staff enjoying the surprise element of not knowing who they will be speaking with. Others have enjoyed seeing familiar faces and getting to know the new staff in other business areas who they may not otherwise speak to.


This 15-minute chat is a great way to break up the day and to get to know more about colleagues on a more personal level.

Business Growth Hub

The GC Business Growth Hub are a community of specialists aiming to support businesses across Greater Manchester, offering one-to-one support, events, funding and more.

The hub can help, whether you need access to finance, want to expand your markets, develop new products and services, improve leadership skills and more.