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5 Ways to Make Work Friends When Working Remotely

Experiences like Howe’s appear to be increasing among older workers. According to an AARP survey conducted in May, 36 percent of remote workers 50 and older said being isolated from coworkers is difficult. Among the respondents who switched jobs, 20 percent said they made the change because they missed interacting with people. Only 8 percent of job switchers said the same when a comparable survey was fielded in September. For some, losing this social aspect can actually help separate work from home. It encourages them to find friends outside of the workplace and avoid tying their identity to their work life.

You can also make friends at work by talking to your colleagues and getting involved in big projects. However, making friends can be a bit tricky if you work remotely. Luckily, there are many ways to connect with people online, such as through video calls or social media.

Ways to Make Friends Remotely

If you want to challenge yourself intellectually, look up language courses or general courses at a local university. Fast forward a few years and the economy is very different. Freelancing and entrepreneurship are on an upswing and there are far more opportunities to make new friends. Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.

how to make friends when you work from home

Going in to the office more often can help you meet your colleagues and connect with them. While having someone to share our stresses and successes with at work can definitely be a blessing, navigating workplace friendships isn’t always easy. Balancing personal and professional roles can be tricky sometimes.

Create opportunities for continued interaction

Whether you’re a super busy entrepreneur or feel shy and introverted, social connections and community are crucial to your well-being. We would recommend agreeing ahead of time how much time you’re going to spend working together, and how much interaction there’s going to be—find something that works for you. Focusmate advises people to keep the small talk down to a minimum, but then again, they are putting strangers together, and you might prefer a different set of rules. Unfortunately, the older we get the more of a back burner our hobbies take. One of the best tips in making new friends is joining a club or group that is centered around a hobby of your choice.

how to make friends when you work from home

According to the mere exposure effect, we unconsciously like those we are more exposed to. Scheduling an informal chat is great, but this chat needs to be repeated for a friendship to develop. The best way to do this is to put a standing meeting on your calendar,  perhaps once a week or once a month, depending on preference. Working from home has its advantages, but a sense of community is not one of them. Still, feeling connected at work is necessary for our fulfillment in our jobs and lives. Research finds, for example, that people with friends at work are more satisfied with and perform better at their jobs.

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Not only will you get out of the house, but you’ll also have a chance to meet new people. Find out if any of your local coffee shops are remote and worker friendly. From early hunter-gatherer tribes to modern-day society, humans have relied on each other for survival. Even as we have evolved and now live in a world where we can survive independently, we still crave companionship and connection with others. Whether it’s simply talking to strangers at the local coffee shop or forming deep friendships, humans need interaction with other humans.

Instead, consider a regular, more thorough check-in with your supervisor or employees. In an office, most people exchange random pleasantries as they get coffee or head to lunch. But I did want to get to know my colleagues, especially because I was trying to learn. So I’d reach out on Slack, the internal messaging system we use.

Make Friends, Find Dates, and Be More Social When You Work Remotely Like This

At the very least, you have something in common as an icebreaker. Nothing says that you need to go out into the real world necessarily to learn how to make friends when you work from home. Sometimes, it’s the easiest and most obvious things that work better than others. Give them their space, and consider connecting with colleagues who are more public and open to interacting on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and beyond.