This helps build team chemistry as people share fun facts about themselves and learn more about their teammates. Have rituals your team enjoys and looks forward to every day, week, or month. For remote teams that don’t get to see each other in person, this promotes a shared sense of purpose and culture, even when you’re not in the same physical space. Tell your new work buddies that you’re looking to meet some new people, and plan a small hangout where you each bring one or two friends from outside of work if possible. If you’ve recently moved to the area, or don’t have too many friends to bring, don’t hesitate to tell your understanding new work friend, as they’ll bring the party for you. Again, this tends to be much easier when you’re in person, but it’s not an impossible feat to accomplish remotely.

Research has shown that work colleagues typically comprise a large amount of friendship and acquaintance social circles and these work relationships can be crucial to your health and overall wellbeing. When you don’t have access to the day-to-day camaraderie you would normally get in the office with other people, meeting new people becomes harder. If you work remotely from home full time, meeting new people and forging new friendships can get a little tricky. Below I share some unexpected and useful tips on how to make friends when you work remotely.

Don’t be afraid to make a phone call.

When on Zoom, your background—real or virtual—serves as a conversation starter. It says something about you and lets people see what you have in common. ” Co-workers get a sense of your hobbies and tastes from the musical instruments, books, sports equipment, art, photos, or belongings in the background.

If what you’re doing hasn’t yielded a new friend, acquaintance, cohort, partner in crime, or crony, you need to try something new. So learn to cook, play an instrument, or try the downward-facing dog at yoga in the park. They both involve putting yourself out there, getting to know someone new, and making a connection. Being single and working from home means meeting romantic partners might require more than usual time and effort.

Say ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’

In San Diego, I used to meet with 2 colleagues every Friday at a coworking place, and we’d have a nice long leisurely Friday lunch and spend the afternoon brainstorming. It was a wonderful change of pace and a way to have fun with my teammates. So far, that’s meant coffees, social gatherings, and games over Zoom. It’s also meant finding ways to express yourself asynchronously in places like Slack—be it through perfectly timed GIFs, unexpected pet photos, or links to bad tweets. Teams that work in traditional offices
often have their daily or weekly rituals that help everyone feel included. By
creating routines for a virtual team, you won’t feel disconnected, and you’ll
have something to look forward to social wise.

Ways to Make Work Friends When Working Remotely

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. Best for remote teams or departments, this how to make friends when you work from home communication tool proposes questions that build rapport, and icebreaker questions for new hires. Howe’s team has found a way to make connection a little easier from afar.

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As long as you make sure that team member is on board with it, it can make them feel valued and appreciated and creates a shared language and experience that brings you all closer together. Your team could also get together for semi-regular remote team-building workshops or seminars. The point is to break up your day with activities that allow you and your colleagues to bond over shared interests outside of work. On a scheduled in-person day, make a plan with your new office friend to check out a new French fry shop in your area, or a brunch place down the block.

Looking for a way to provide an online meetup or virtual meet-and-greet? Create a Zoom meeting link and send it out to clients or vendors, who can ‘swing by’ your online happy hour and drop by for a chat. A great idea for dispersed companies with virtual teams is starting a company-wide project. Start a “water cooler” Slack channel that employees can ‘drop by’ when they need a little pick-me-up or a 2-minute break.

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