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How to Make Work Friends When You Work Remotely

Let’s face it, it’s harder to make good connections on distributed teams. Working from home has become the new normal for many of us, but one thing we might miss from the office is the social aspect. But just because we’re not physically in the same room doesn’t mean we can’t make friends with our colleagues! All this is essential for making
collaboration easy not just between management and remote workers, but also
inside of a team. For a remote team to be successful, team managers need to make sure everyone is equipped with all the tools they need to succeed and improve their remote collaboration.

As a manager, it’s your job to ensure the team is happy, productive, and getting along well together. When you’re all working under the same roof, team building days and lunches out are the obvious choices. You need to take a slightly different approach when your team is remote. Howe’s team has found a way to make connection a little easier from afar. “We also keep a running weekly virtual fun meeting where we get on camera and spend time talking about anything other than work,” she says.

Understand your willpower—and make use of it

Give them their space, and consider connecting with colleagues who are more public and open to interacting on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and beyond. That colleague who’s always sharing recipes and photos of the gorgeous meals they make on their personal blog will probably appreciate your likes and comments on their posts. Here are some fun ways to stay connected with friends, and family as well, when working remotely from home. Make sure you communicate clearly (see tips above) about the deadlines and which chapters have to be read by when. I definitely showed up to my first book club virtual meeting having read the wrong chapters.

You can do this over Slack or whatever company-wide communication tool that you use. You’ll want to post a poll of books where people can vote on them. Lastly, you can use that same tool, or something like Calendly to find a time to meet with everyone. People (including you, and me!) can be very protective of the time in their days, so keeping meetings scheduled, succinct and on time can be a small thing that goes far. In these remote work times, some of the more natural opportunities for praise – like head nodding in a meeting or a quick “nice work! Everyone likes to be recognized for their hard work, so take a minute to send a text or an email letting someone know you noticed them.

Make better use of productivity tools

WhatsApp is a fine tool to use for reaching clients or work contacts, especially if you have a separate work phone, work phone number or even a Google Fi number. Your closest contacts may be clients, vendors, editors, artists, service providers or many types of other relationships. If they will be live-presenting their creations, make sure everyone is available and that the date is on the calendar well in advance. If you need to block out any background noise, check out our guide on how to remove background noise from calls.

The 31 Best Gifts for People Who Work From Home – The New York Times

The 31 Best Gifts for People Who Work From Home.

Posted: Mon, 11 Dec 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Consider the following strategies to help you pull it off successfully. As a team member, you need to reach out, then commit to spending some time with someone — whether that’s a virtual coffee or a friendly chat. If you’re a manager, it’s about identifying ways to help team members communicate and then do everything you can to foster continued communication. All of the above strategies are proven ways to make work friends and collaborate with other members of your team when you work remotely.

Keep company culture human through personal milestone updates.

If you’ve followed our story, you know that we love to talk about coffee. The Morning Brew newsletters give us a snapshot of current events in a few different categories. This might have been talking about a new iPhone or a new book that someone read. 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.

That said, there are some potential pitfalls to working remotely. When working remotely, connecting in meaningful ways to colleagues becomes more of a challenge, and making work friends and maintaining these key relationships is harder and takes more work. This can have a real and lasting impact on employees’ sense of connection to the companies that employ them, as well as their professional happiness and well-being. That said, there are ways to make friends when working remotely.

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