Since remote work became more common, employees have shared that bonding with their teams has become more of a challenge. Many people report feeling lonely or disconnected from their colleagues because they don't have that face-to-face interaction. There is less space for small talk or chit-chat when work becomes hectic. Just because you work from home doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to work friends altogether though! On the contrary, this is your time to get creative while making friends remotely.
Engage via Chat Platforms
There is usually an informal chat channel that employees use for casual conversations. Here, you can observe your colleagues and get a sense of who they are in everyday settings. Once you select a coworker(s) that you think you would get along with outside of work, put your best foot forward and be active in the channel. Allow others to get a sense of who you are as a person. Respond to your colleague's comments; whether it be a thumbs up, a meme, or a written response, let them know that you are interested in what they are saying.
Interact on Social Media
After having several interactions with them, casually ask if they are on social media. Preferably do this in an individual message. That way, you both can avoid the awkwardness of having to follow others you don't want to on social media. This is an excellent tool for understanding who your coworker is outside of work.
Although not everything we see on social media is accurate, you can somewhat grasp what that person likes, dislikes, and aesthetics through their profile. Don't be afraid to comment on their stories or posts. Let them know you also share the same interests. This allows for different topics of conversation other than work.
Meet Up in Person
If you live near each other, plan an activity outside of your typical four walls. If you and your coworker are into exercise, plan a walk, run, or hike at your local park or trail. Working from home can become lonely. Outdoor activities can also benefit you and your new work friend emotionally and physically. Building up endorphins and soaking up some vitamin D can be one of the easiest ways to connect and build a friendship with a coworker.
Suppose you and your new friend are not into exercising, do not worry; in that case, you can bond over food and drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). Food is the easiest way to connect or create a friendship. Hopefully, by then, you have mentally bookmarked several topics of conversation so you can have something to talk about while at the table. If the conversation comes to a lull, you can simply take the topic of conversation back to work.
Becoming social and creating new friendships remotely can be nerve-wracking, but these few tips can make it less-so.
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