How To Make Friends When You Work Remotely

She advises that both employers and employees be “purposeful” about choosing their in-office days for productivity reasons, but also to reinforce workplace relationships. According to an AARP survey conducted in May, how to make friends when you work from home 36 percent of remote workers 50 and older said being isolated from coworkers is difficult. Among the respondents who switched jobs, 20 percent said they made the change because they missed interacting with people.

Microsoft’s 2020 Work Trend Index showed that as the pandemic progressed, people discarded their broader networks and relied more on the people in their immediate social circles. To branch back out and meet some friendly faces, you can easily venture outside the office using the office friends you’ve already made. Whether you’re one of the people who’s started a new job over the pandemic or you’re just someone with a few new teammates, this is especially why making friends at work is so important.

Keep company culture human through personal milestone updates.

If you weren’t sure how to make friends when you work from home, your baby or fur baby might be the answer you were looking for. Making friends in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond isn’t an easy task, but as long as you don’t expect any miracles and stick to these tips, you should find a person with common interests. Even if it gets you out of the house, it’s a step in the right direction. We would recommend agreeing ahead of time how much time you’re going to spend working together, and how much interaction there’s going to be—find something that works for you. Focusmate advises people to keep the small talk down to a minimum, but then again, they are putting strangers together, and you might prefer a different set of rules. Give them their space, and consider connecting with colleagues who are more public and open to interacting on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and beyond.

I once landed on a former work wife’s doorstep in Nashville for a weeklong stay only to realize when I got there that we’d met in person exactly once. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Teams that want to travel back in time may consider a virtual history tour. Like one where an archaeologist in Italy takes participants through the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by volcanic eruptions nearly 2,000 years ago. Or the one where a guide dresses up as a plague doctor and walks through the streets of Prague, commenting on various landmarks relevant to the 17th- and 18th-century plagues.

Socializing on social media

My tip is to make a weekly time to FaceTime with a friend who’ll teach you another language, because some of the best learning can be done right in your home. The last cool way I like to feel productive and engaged while also seeing friends’ faces is practicing Spanish with friends in Argentina. I have a group chat with my high school friends and we finally figured out that you can hit “FaceTime” in your iMessages and it sends an invitation for a video call to everyone in the chat. I can say the same for the Ladies Get Paid (LGP) women’s network, which has afforded me opportunities like hosting a webinar about remote work starter tips for women. The snooze button can be magical for freelancers, especially if you’re waiting on updates or developments from someone outside your organization. Not all work relationships are with coworkers, especially if you are a small business owner or freelancer.

  • I find that it also keeps me from checking my phone in bed—a massive productivity killer.
  • Virtual team members who watch a lot of movies and TV shows may find the “Who Streamed What?
  • Grab virtual coffee as a social get-together idea, or, like I wrote above, have your lunch at 1pm your time with a colleague in an international office who’s just starting her day.
  • If you’re in touch with your company’s head of culture or HR lead, propose a company-wide talent show that can be scheduled over Zoom.
  • Phillippa Lally is a health psychology researcher at University College London.

Below are a few options for virtual team building activities that involve eating and drinking. There’s no better way to get to know virtual team members than by hearing their stories. Whether they know it or not, everyone has a wide variety of stories to share — it may just take a little prompting. To get ideas rolling and everyone on the same page, create a list of ideas, or select a few from this New York Times prompt list. For work, you want to keep the topics light and fun, so people are comfortable sharing their stories with colleagues. You can assign a weekly or monthly prompt and schedule video meetings with small groups of people across departments to share their stories.

Let Your Backgrounds Do Some of the Talking

“Some people either do not believe or desire to build the same kind of emotional relationship through technology as they [would] face-to-face,” she says. Since you only have a screen width to do virtual team building activities, sometimes it calls for a little creativity. Think up some team bonding activities that you can scale down to fit a screen, like a tiny desk campfire, where you roast marshmallows over a fire and tell stories. Brainstorm with your team, and you’ll likely come up with a number of creative ideas on how to shrink team activities to fit the remote screen. Not having an in-person office environment doesn’t mean you can’t still have a lunch date or coffee chat to catch up or get to know someone better.

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