Working from home has become the new norm. And although remote work has various benefits, from increased productivity to higher efficiency, it also creates many challenges. The main ones being feeling lonely and isolated. If you are missing office life, read our tips on how to connect with your colleagues, and incorporate socializing into your home office schedule.
Be precise and specific
- If you were used to going to the office every day, there surely were days when you were dreading the early morning or rainy commute. But now try to think about what exactly makes you go - oh, I miss the office. Is it the coffee breaks? Is it having lunch together? Is it the exchange of jokes or the daily news catchup? Whatever it is, try to be as specific as possible by identifying what exactly you are missing, you will be more likely able to recreate it in the virtual world.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
- There are always tons of reasons why you should NOT do something, but approach it from the other end. Think of all the positives it brings if you connect with a coworker and start an informal chat. You might find out you are facing the same challenges, get mutually inspired, or just have a laugh together. Now is the best time to overcome shyness and reach out to someone you might have not otherwise spoken to. And if things don’t go too well, you can always excuse yourself and ‘Leave the meeting’.
Schedule in socialising
- Normally, you would have met with your colleagues at work and the chit chat would start naturally, possibly resulting in the formation of a new friendship or a spontaneous brainstorming session. Well, not likely to happen in your home office, so let's experiment and be proactive in taking those small talks online.
Choose a platform
- Once you get your coworkers aboard, choose a platform where you can meet (we all know the drill by now, are you a fan of Zoom, Google, or Microsoft?). You can also pick up the phone and go for a walk whilst chatting. This will also help refresh your brain and boost your energy levels. To make your meetings more interesting, try using Donut which brings a virtual coffee to your home office. If you are tired of Zoom, try out Rally Video which allows you to drop in into different chat rooms whilst also hearing the background chatter, just as you would at work. Finally, if you want to have some fun, download Houseparty where you can play games and interact with your friends and co-workers. You can see there are endless ways to recreate the office habitat, so just get online and do a bit of searching!
- And one final note, if you are talking to your colleagues, try to focus on the positive as opposed to moaning about your current situation. If you recognize your coworker feels stressed or overwhelmed, try to offer a helping hand. Maybe they need a little pick-me-up or to hear a friendly voice. In those cases, make yourself (virtually) available to them. You never know when you might need them too.
We are all experiencing tough times and the best way to get through this is to be there for each other. Let’s benefit from having the opportunity to connect with others at your fingertips and enjoy the pros this ‘new normal’ brings. And if you find yourself struggling, we encourage you to join our online community to get the support you need or check out the Mental Health Workshop by Marketa Horakova. The time has never been better for creating new connections, so let’s turn on our camera and keep in touch online!