Working remotely can feel isolating, especially when you’re not able to connect with your coworkers in person. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With some creativity and virtual ice breakers, you can build relationships and foster connections with your team members while working from home. Read on for must-have tips and tricks for connecting with your coworkers, from virtual meetings to fun activities.
Utilize Virtual Communication Tools
If you feel like you’re missing that in-person connection with coworkers, fortunately, there are plenty of virtual communication tools out there that can make it easy to stay in touch and collaborate remotely. Video conferencing such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts are a great way to keep in touch with your coworkers and have quick catch-up conversations outside of regular meetings.
For a quick way to stay in touch, instant messaging is a convenient way to reach out to a colleague or group of people for help or advice. Slack is one of the most popular instant messaging tools for work and allows you to create channels for specific topics and easily search for previous conversations. Be mindful that if the channels are managed by the company, they can access your chats, so keep it work-appropriate.
Schedule Virtual Coffee Breaks or Lunches
Work can be a fantastic place to make friends as an adult, but it proves to be a challenge when you aren’t engaging in communication unrelated to work. Virtual coffee breaks or lunches are a great way to stay connected and foster friendships.
When you’re all working remotely, it’s important to carve out regular time to connect and catch up with your coworkers. It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of remote work so try to set aside 15-30 minutes once or twice a week for virtual coffee chats. During the coffee break, you can talk about work projects, goals, or just chat about what everyone is up to. It can be helpful to set an agenda (nothing too fancy) to keep the conversation focused and productive.
Virtual coffee breaks don’t have to be just about talking. Consider turning it into a game or activity with some fun virtual ice breakers. This will help bring a sense of fun and connection back into the team.
Create or Join a Virtual Book Club
It can be difficult to build relationships with coworkers and one great way to connect with your team in a meaningful way is to create or join a virtual book club. The beauty of having a virtual book club is that there is no need to leave the comfort of your own home. All you need is an internet connection, a platform like Zoom, and a few good books. You can even rotate between different members’ choices each month.
A virtual book club will allow everyone to explore new topics and dive into different perspectives. Whether it’s a classic novel or a recent bestseller, talking about a shared interest helps to bring people together and build personal connections. Plus, by having an outside activity, everyone can connect without discussing work-related topics.
Getting started is easy. Simply choose a platform, decide on a frequency for the meetings (weekly or monthly works best), pick out a few books, and set a date for your first meeting. Then, all that’s left is to invite your coworkers and get reading.
Get Involved in Virtual Community Service Projects
Virtual community service projects are a great way to work together on something that you’re passionate about or that benefits others as it can help create strong bonds between coworkers. This could range from hosting an online fundraiser for a charity to organizing a virtual food drive.
Not only will these projects provide a great way to bond with your coworkers, but they’ll also help make a difference in your community. It could be a great opportunity for your team to show off their strengths and skills, as well as their commitment to giving back. Plus, volunteering has been linked to better health outcomes and improved moods, so it can really benefit everyone involved.
Some companies offer incentives or assistance to employees who choose to get involved in charity work, such as donation matching. Talk with someone in your company to learn more about community service missions.
If you are craving meaningful connections in your work-from-home environment, reach out to your coworkers to build relationships. Workplace bonds can leave you feeling fulfilled and even excited about work, so give it a try.