10+ Ways to Become Friends With Colleagues Working Remotely

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Aug 24, 2020 · 5 min read

That’s pretty weird: when I was trying to find some useful tips for making friends with my colleagues, I faced something like:

«You should definitely try coming to the office!» OR «Give coworking spaces a try».

Well, thank you!

But our team found some useful tips for making friends while working remotely (during COVID-19 times). We believe making friends at work is essential. Here’s why:

  1. People are more engaged when they have friends at work (study).
  2. They are happier and stay in the company longer (study).
  3. It’s more likely that they’ll trust each other. And they more likely will to take risks and create something new.

That’s why I’m going to share these tips with you. Motivate and inspire colleagues to make friends at work. Whatever happens in business, life, company, friends will always remain!

Create some #watercooler space

  1. If you are using Slack, instead of making a new #random channel, make #watercooler chat and inspire your coworkers to post there everything they want. Literally everything.
  2. Have a call together at the same time every day? Create the meeting room (Zoom, Google Hangouts, whatever) 15 minutes earlier and invite your colleagues to have some friendly dialogue and share thoughts.
  3. If you use Google Meet or Tandem, create a room, so your colleagues might randomly join it when they’ve free time. You can call it #watercooler as well.
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Why it’s a good idea to create some water cooler space?

A water cooler is not just a spot where you can get some water. It’s the place where you are all just thirsty animals :D And all your responsibilities, tasks, office hierarchy have less influence.

Organize “speed meetings icebreaker”

You can use tools like Donut / Random Coffee. Connect your corporate Slack and let the bot schedule random meetings with your colleagues.

Or do that the other way: create the file with the colleague’s names and just randomize it.

Why it’s a good idea to make random meetings?

This is the perfect way to find some friends for those who are embarrassed and can’t find a reason to start a conversation. But be aware of awkward pauses during the call — not all people are meant to become friends.

Create the list with the links to social media profiles

You want to know more about the person you are chatting with every day. Some people refuse to use video and you don’t even know how they look like. That’s a typical problem for remote teams. In all articles, I’ve read people recommend looking for a colleague on LinkedIn.

Hm. It’s kind of awkward to seek for a colleague on the Internet.

To save colleagues from embarrassment I’d recommend you to create the list of social media profiles. Simply make Notion file or Google Sheet, list the names of the colleagues, and ask them to share social profiles: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Also, I found the guide for remote work from Miro team, they recommend making a board with the roles, names, so you actually can make a map of the team adding everyone's social media profile and date of birth (we’ll talk about it later).

Once I’ve had a dialogue with the coworker and found out that he has an interesting blog. Wish I knew this before!

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Why it’s a good idea to share social media profiles?

Because it lets you find out more about people you work with: where did they study, where did they work, etc. No unnecessary questions and a few more ways to find something in common!

Create traditions & rituals

  • Ask your colleagues to share their mood every day. You can easily do it in Slack.
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  • During the calls spend some time-sharing the song you’ve listened to during the week. And create your corporate music list!
  • Start a book club and discuss books with colleagues. [choose the books here or here].
  • Share #picofthaday or pictures of your desk. Do that in Slack, or even on Instagram!
  • Share your weekend plans or stories about the way you’ve spent the holidays.
  • Celebrate birthdays (get the BD calendar and let everyone enter the date! and let someone track it). We recommend you to also celebrate small wins together with #eveningwine. Human relationships don’t end when you close Slack. Organize meetings outside working hours.
  • Create the map, where every member of the team can point the place he was born and the place he lives at right now. That’s useful: you can always check the timezone of your colleague and you can share some experience living in different places and share the roots.
  • Create a series of posts (in Slack, or whatever messaging platform you use with the team). For example, share 3 facts about yourself (2 true facts, 1 lie) — and ask colleagues to guess, which one is false. Every new day — new member shares the facts. It can be a never-ending story!
  • It sounds strange, BUT. I took this idea from Zapier [The remote work survival guide] — show your pets to coworkers. That’s the perfect way to start the conversation.

Why it’s a good idea to create some traditions?

Because traditions make you who you are. Tradition is a kind of discipline, tradition is a way to deal with awkwardness — after all, if everyone follows them, then what is inconvenient here?

Our team is now working on the app that will help you spontaneously meet colleagues online. Take a look at Product Hunt.

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The blog about serendipity meetings that can change our lives.

The Innovation

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