Life after graduation

4 Tips for Connecting With Coworkers When You’re Working Remotely

Learn how to meet colleagues and build relationships when you're not in an office environment.

When you’re working remotely, it can be difficult to meet new coworkers without impromptu in-office moments to connect. So we’ve outlined some simple ways to find those opportunities to bond with your coworkers.

Schedule virtual coffee chats

Coffee breaks are common in offices, and it’s the perfect time to catch up with coworkers about their weekends, new movie recommendations, and more. Why not continue this tradition online? Ask your coworkers if they’d be up for having a 10-15 minute coffee break every once in a while so you can get to know each other.

As you meet new colleagues outside of your team, make sure to set up some time to get to know them as well. These short conversations will go a long way in building camaraderie and discovering people with similar, non work-related, interests.

Attend after-work events

Employers are getting very creative when it comes to virtual activities and events. Whether it’s a fireside chat with a guest speaker, virtual talent show, or cooking lesson—there are many possibilities to enjoy time with your coworkers after work hours. 

While you may be tempted to log off and hit the couch at 5, go out of your way to join as many of these events as possible. Making work friends is all about connecting and sharing memories outside of the day-to-day activities.

Chat about hobbies or interests

If you’re in a meeting and someone mentions your favorite documentary series, or has a piece of memorabilia from a sport or team you like—make a mental note to chat with them about it. Send them a quick message after the meeting to spark up a conversation: “Hey, I noticed you had a Cubs pennant on the wall in your office. Are you from Chicago? That’s one of my favorite cities to visit!”

Consider adding momentos or objects that show your interests in the background of your video screen as well. This is a great way to show a bit about yourself, and it gives your coworkers something to talk about with you.

Join an Employee Resource or Affinity Group

Employee Resource Groups (ERG) are organized so employees can gather and share a sense of identity, whether related to race, gender, ethnicity, or other. These groups foster community and a sense of belonging. They are also a safe environment to discuss issues that are important to you, and have otherwise difficult conversations.

Additionally, if your workplace has more casual interest groups that meet, or just chat in a messaging channel, definitely join ones that you like or consider starting your own. These are the perfect way to meet colleagues and share a common interest in baking, podcasts, rock climbing—you name it!

Small actions like these will go a long way to help you build connections at work—and enjoy your job even more!

Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels