Because it turns out that connecting with other people at work is not only good for your mental health, it’s good for your job performance. While Facebook is a source for these groups, more active interest groups appear on Reddit or Meetup.com. All you need to do is sign up, search for the hobby or activity that you like to do, and go to one of their meetups. It’s that easy to avoid loneliness and make friends when you work from home. If you’re a bit of an introvert or you’re already at your computer screen, finding online interest groups is far easier than you anticipated.
Add some photos, plants, collectibles or anything that is workplace appropriate and expresses your personality, and those long days will have some cheerful company. If people don’t respond to your efforts, don’t jump to conclusions. Maybe they’re overwhelmed with work and have no time for “the new guy” right now.
Try Online Interest Groups
Social media and special-interest forums are a great way of meeting people in new places. I make announcements if I’m going somewhere new and I’m always surprised with who finds me. I’ve found that popular remote working cities have Facebook pages that you can search for and join. Sadly, these activities rarely leave us feeling well-rested and fulfilled. Set aside time over the weekend to have lunch with a friend or try a new activity.
How motivated are you to deepen your friendships?
But if you’re the new guy or gal on staff, a remote workplace might seem challenging at first. You can’t rely on the convenience of casual office interactions to help you develop relationships with co-workers. We have advice on making remote work friends when chatting in the kitchen or stopping by someone’s cubicle is out of the question. To investigate this, we engaged in an 18-month study of the Midwest division of a global technology corporation, “Cloudly” (a pseudonym). We conducted 114 interviews with 64 different people (we interviewed some people 3+ times).
- Still, feeling connected at work is necessary for our fulfillment in our jobs and lives.
- Just talking about it can open up the opportunity to socialize and make a friend at the virtual office.
- If you’re in a group for your area, consider starting a post looking for new friends or walking buddies.
- The Gallup article suggests an uncontroversial team lunch, which is a great way to start.
- You can’t have workplace interaction the way people have in a healthy office when you are working from home.
- Simulating the communal meal, each person order tacos from their favorite local restaurant.
- Chances are you have a wide range of interests outside of work; finding a group that shares your appreciation should be a cinch!
If you work remotely and find yourself feeling isolated or lonely, reaching out to old friends can be helpful. Even if you haven’t spoken in a https://remotemode.net/blog/tips-on-how-to-make-friends-when-you-work-from-home/ while, they’ll likely be happy to hear from you and catch up. You can find groups for freelancers, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and more.
Spend Time Volunteering
In the absence of better tools, the chance to meet and see our colleagues again will almost certainly make the virtual side of our relationships stronger than if they were virtual all the time. A remote worker cannot build such communication because they lose the ability to make friends due to a lack of social interaction. In some cases, if you compare their work friends vs. real friends, they are failing on both sides because they don’t know how to make friends while working in virtual teams. Working from home definitely has some upsides, such as the flexibility to work in your own environment and the ability to take a break whenever needed. Consider setting a hybrid work policy with a minimum number of days each week for employees to work from an office — this could be your company HQ or a coworking space closer to their home. Encourage them to share where they will be and when, so that colleagues can meet them, and ensure that these are considered collaborative work days.
Every company (trust me, every company) has Slack channels for jokes, memes, snack alerts, or just sharing stories and gossip. It’ll feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more people will respond favorably to you and the more you’ll get a feel for what resonates with your colleagues and what doesn’t. Follow your coworkers on Twitter or Instagram or TikTok (if you feel safe doing so) and interact with them, gently, letting them know you appreciate their presence.
Create a Social Slack Channel with Your Colleagues
Now, if you feel comfortable introducing yourself to, let’s say, one person a day, then set a stretch goal and introduce yourself to five. And do this for a week or three weeks and watch how quickly you grow. Friendship is not built from one interaction; it grows gradually. According to the mere exposure effect, we unconsciously like those we are more exposed to. Scheduling an informal chat is great, but this chat needs to be repeated for a friendship to develop. The best way to do this is to put a standing meeting on your calendar, perhaps once a week or once a month, depending on preference.
How do I make friends when I work full time?
- Introduce yourself. If you haven't done so already, introduce yourself to your coworkers.
- Learn and use their names.
- Use greetings and ask questions.
- Be positive.
- Decorate your space.
- Bring in coffee or food.
- Eat lunch or get coffee with coworkers.
- Work in common areas.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a writer and media entrepreneur whose specialties include advising newsrooms on digital strategy and helping other journalists upgrade their skills. She is currently based in Chicago but has also lived in New York, Washington, DC, London, and several places in between. Over the years, Meena has written for publications including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Travel+Leisure. Nowadays, she writes mostly about travel, money, and career management for a variety of publications. She is the founder of Travel with Meena, a travel site working to center the stories of travelers of color.
Move around – the world is your office
Maybe you’ll discover a shared love of Marvel via your Tony Stark Funko Pop. Maybe your holiday pics will encourage a fellow traveller to stop by your desk to chat. Not only are you sharing your personality with your colleagues, you’re also showing elements of your personality that they could connect with. While sprints may not seem like ideal moments to socialize, the safe space of a video call — without the pressure of a meeting agenda — allows for moments that end up building friendships. The non-work discussions at the beginning of the call, the opportunity to view someone else’s work or study habits, and the small breaks you take together are all ways to build cadence. Find a way to have social interaction with your remote colleagues regularly, even if it’s just through a chat window or video call.
But handled correctly these moments can help to build a proactive company culture. It could be as simple as giving people a bit more time during meetings to chat, lightening the mood with tea and biscuits or simply asking direct questions like “how was your weekend? ” Or you could go all out and plan an away day filled with team building exercises. Work friendships fill a very specific role in our lives.
If you want to meet other digital nomads, go to nomad hotspots where they’re likely to be. If you want to meet tech entrepreneurs, go to meetups in tech hotspots. We’ve worked remotely while camping—campgrounds are FULL of friendly people with interesting lives. We also have a more in-depth guide on how to build a social life.
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