Team sharing cuppa – Creative HQ

Creative HQ

Read how Creative HQ created a process to intentionally enable colleagues to connect and learn more about each other in order to grow mutual respect and understanding within the team.


During the first Covid lockdown, the CHQ team started intentional 1-on-1 personal catch ups to support each other. When returning to the office, they wanted to continue to intentionally and meaningfully connect with each other as people, to better understand each other, and to work better as a team.


The team set aside time each week for a different team member to introduce themselves in their own way over a cuppa, with the purpose of getting to know each other better as people. The individual decides what they share and how. Creative HQ refers to this as "cuppa whanaungatanga" based on the te ao Māori value of whakawhanaungatanga.

Observations and lessons learnt

Processes and adaptability

Embedded in all staff schedules

Leadership had given staff approval to go for coffee with each other to build relationships, but on top of busy workloads, this often wasn’t prioritised. By implementing a formal process and a dedicated, recurring calendar booking, the leadership permission and importance of these relationships was really felt in the team.


Autonomy over the design

Autonomy is given to the individual to design their "cuppa" session to share their stories in a way that is authentic to them. Team members often share about their career experience, family background and other things that are important to their identity.

Role of technology

Include virtual team members

Cuppa is hosted in the office kitchen space to give an informal feel, and by video conference to ensure those who are working remotely are included. As remote working increases, opportunities for ad hoc "watercooler" chat in the office decrease, so it is necessary to have intentional times for connection as a team.

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