If you are about to start a new remote work, you might be wondering what your social life will look like since your new coworkers might be living miles or countries away. You can no longer have small talk in the elevator or have an in-person job onboarding where you get to meet all of your coworkers in person. If you are a young professional straight out of college, the remote work setting might not be what you are used to experiencing.
At most school settings and pre-covid work environments, everything was being done in person, and everyone lived in close proximity to each other. Companies nowadays hire people worldwide, which might weaken the out-of-work social interactions that coworkers who live in the same city tend to have. Workers are saying goodbye to happy hour and hello to slack messages, which has been a learning curve for people who need face to face interaction to feel motivated and involved. Even the biggest social butterflies can suffer from loneliness or social anxiety when it comes to connectivity through the internet. Here is a list of tips on how to make friends and influence people when working remotely:
Be genuinely interested in your remote coworkers to build mutual trust
Getting to know your coworkers will be different in a remote setting. However, once you start getting the ball rolling with someone and sharing interests, and exchanging personal information, you need to try to be engaged. It would be best if you didn’t have to pretend to care. It’s totally fine if you immediately know someone is not your vibe and only want a professional relationship with them. However, if you are even 1% interested in getting to know someone, showing that you listen and care is the best way to get someone to trust you. Even if someone tells you something you aren’t familiar with, ask them for more information and learn something new! Everyone has interests or hobbies they would love to be willing to share. Showing engagement will lead to more interactions and mutual trust.
Get good at your job first
Anyone can win friends and influence people. However, those who are able to excel and exceed expectations are more likely to have a higher presence and be met with adoration by others. This higher influence is a domino effect of higher ups praising those who do well and are well liked which then pervades to coworkers also having this same view towards them. Your work needs to speak for you. Be consistent, responsible, and assertive when doing work tasks as well as being a team player all around. Being able to build your stature in the workplace is essential to making closer ties with coworkers outside of work and having overall influence.
Informal conversations at the right time
Informal communication is essential to building social relationships outside the typical business structure. However, being on screen and “logged on” can be tiring and drain someone’s social battery fast with remote work. Every work-related call should begin with a genuine and open catch-up of “how was your weekend?” or “how are you feeling?”. It’s essential to actively listen and create an environment where informal communication can happen without taking away from the structure of a meeting. Talking about your personal life and asking others about theirs can build meaningful relationships, and you might learn that you have more in common with someone than you initially thought. Additionally, sending emojis can feel silly sometimes, but it makes communication feel a lot more comfortable and adds some lightness to the conversation!
Save some money and make a trip to visit
Once you have a few remote coworkers whom you have bonded with and with whom you can have informal conversations outside of working hours or casually on the clock, you have successfully created friends remotely! The next step is to save some money, plan a trip together, and meet them in person. This trip can be during a holiday or any day of the year since working remotely offers so much flexibility. You and your coworker(s) can have an adventure together and potentially show each other your favorite spots in your home cities. You guys might even be able to work together and increase work cohesion. There is no better feeling than meeting someone you have only seen on the screen. It might be weird at first, but an in-person meetup is more meaningful than any virtual hangout. It will be worth every penny to set up a trip to meet your virtual coworkers in person.
There are so many different ways for remote workers to stay social; loneliness will have a tough time creeping in on your watch. If you’re already working remotely, pick one new tip to try. If you don’t have a virtual job but you wish you did, visit bettsrectruiting.com.