help! How can I make friends when my colleague is behind the screen?

Oh dear,

I like working remotely, but I feel more isolated than ever. How to make friends with colleagues? During the epidemic, my company switched to working remotely, and no one was eager to return to the office soon. This means I can still work at home for a while, but as my friends leave and new friends start remotely, how can I contact them, or keep in close contact with my current work friends?


You might think that when working remotely during a global pandemic, the most difficult part of starting work (or even keeping your job) is figuring out how to collaborate productively with colleagues while away from conference rooms and driving brainstorming sessions, let us Admit it, no one really likes it. But what I miss most is informal communication: the smiles and complaints of colleagues; the people passing by my desk to greet; the kind of friendship that makes commuting at least partly worthwhile. It sounds like you miss that too.

The repair is easy. Well, it is easy for me to write, not necessarily easy to put into practice. During the pandemic, I also started a job (actually my current job at WIRED). The first step was very difficult, but I’m happy to say that I have delivered more than one job here in a year. I can make more friends I have ever imagined.

As long as we work remotely behind the screen, it will be very difficult Let any of us feel the real connection To each other. This is true whether you start work when everyone is away from home and have no chance to meet anyone in person, or you have been working there for many years and your current working friends have left to take up a new job. The only real solution is to do what everyone hates: put yourself there and talk to people.

Let them make a video call with you just to talk about what you’re doing and what their interests are. It is recommended to have a virtual coffee or a virtual drink after get off work. (Or ice cream, for those who don’t drink. My friend Karen Ho, a sustainability reporter Inside story, Teach me that! ) For example, plan to go out and play after a big project is completed. And follow up! Book a 15-minute coffee break on their calendar so that no one will forget it, and if you (or they) can’t feel it today, you are willing to move it.

Not every proposal needs to appear in the form of a calendar appointment. When someone says something interesting, join a thread in Slack or Discord. When colleagues share cat photos in Slack, they can also share your own cute photos. Every company (trust me, Every company) There are Slack channels for jokes, memes, snack reminders or just sharing stories and gossip. Sneak in and share! It will feel embarrassing at first, but the more you do, the more people will feel good about you, and the more you can feel what can resonate with colleagues and what can’t. Follow your colleagues on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok (if you feel safe to do so) and interact gently with them to let them know that you appreciate their existence. Interact with them at the human level, not at the level where colleagues are trying to build a network.

I know, actually open up a bit and talk to people? Total. I hope there is a simpler answer, one that allows me to sit on my ass and let respect and recognition come to me without having to be really vulnerable or stumbled by my awkward social anxiety. But a) we don’t always get what we want, and b) before “social distancing” even becomes a thing, many of us are difficult to answer even at the best of the questions you ask.

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