Working from home is emotionally isolating. Socialize and hang out virtually to boost your mood and positivity.
Working from home is a new kind of working environment paradox.

You’re interacting with people throughout the day via email, IM chats, video meetings, conference calls, etc. There’s no shortage of communication at all. In fact, on some days, it’s communication overload.

And yet, despite all this communication and being connected to the world, you feel isolated and alone.

Okay, well maybe you might have a pet, other family members or roomies in the house, but they don’t really count ‘cause they’re there all the time. So, you still feel disconnected in a way.

You know what we’re talking about here, right?

What you’re missing is the social aspect of having other coworkers around while you’re doing your thing, like it is in the office.

It’s the random hallway interactions, impromptu breakroom convos, informal chats, sharing of funnies, lunch outings, random gossip, etc.

Or in even more basic terms, just having coworkers physically around you working as you’re in the zone and plugging away on your own tasks and projects.

There’s a blended sense of focus, productivity, fun and togetherness that the office provides that work from home just can’t seem to match. It’s one of the rare detractions of WFH.

The good news is that this can be overcome.

Why It’s Important To Socialize With Coworkers

Humans are social beings. We need interactions and relationships with others to keep ourselves connected in meaningful ways.

There are countless studies like this study from the University of Michigan that prove that social bonds are an essential human need just beyond food, water and shelter.

People that have weak or few social connections and bonds often have shorter lifespans and are more susceptible to illnesses, both mental and physical.

But you don’t need to read an academic study to know this. It’s pretty obvious.

When you have fun, loving, meaningful and happy relationships with others, you feel great. And this triggers all sorts of positive physiological and mental benefits that boost your well-being and overall health.

But, when you’re lonely, isolated and out-of-touch with the world, you feel like you’re sinking into a black hole. It sucks.

So, it’s critically important you have positive relationships and bonds in your life.

And more specifically, having social connections with coworkers not only protects your mental health but also helps you manage work stress better, improves your work life and preserves your sanity.

8 Great Ways To Virtually Bond & Connect With Your Coworkers

Now, just because you can’t physically be next to a person doesn’t mean that you can’t get all the same benefits of in-person socialization.

It can be done. You just have to be open to the idea and embrace new ways to connect with others.

If your mind and heart are in it, it’ll work. However, if you just go through the motions and act all “whatevs” about it, then it won’t ever work.

So, keep an open mind to these ideas and give a few of them an honest try. You just might find one that really clicks with you and your coworkers.

1) Recreate Morning Coffee Together

That first cup of coffee in the morning is oh so glorious. Some people take their first cup at home before work while others get their first jolt in the office.

Sipping coffee while chatting up your desk neighbor is such a great way to ease into work. You can replicate this at home too.

Just reach out to your work BFFs and agree on having morning coffee together via video. You can catch up on things and talk random shit while sipping on your fav coffee.

It’s a great easy morning routine to do together.

2) Chat & Text Funnies Every So Often

Got a hilarious internet meme? Watched a piss-your-pants laughing YouTube clip? Funny story to share? Hilarious pic from over the weekend?

Chat or text message your friends at work and share in the laughter. Everyone can always use a good laugh. It’s the best stress reliever around.

3) Schedule A Group Virtual Lunch

Most people just go off and do their own thing for WFH lunch. And, getting away from work and work people during your lunch break can be a good thing because there are real dangers to working through lunch.

So, it’s always good to circle up with your usual lunch buddies and do a virtual group lunch every now and then.

Just schedule it on the calendar and bring your fav lunch to the virtual hangout session to chow down and shoot the shit for a bit. 

4) Unwind After Work With A Virtual Happy Hour

Whether it’s a glass of wine or a tall frosty mug of beer, socializing over drinks is a great way to blow off some steam.

Have your coworkers join you on a virtual happy hour. Schedule it and it’ll also serve as a way to officially disconnect from work.

Have everyone bring their favorite beverage. Then, kick back, relax and enjoy the grapes or hops to close out the day.

5) Walk-N-Talk With Your Work BFFs

When you and your work BFF have an open slot during the day, block out 30-minutes for a “brainstorming session” via phone.

Another alternative to brainstorming is to celebrate your small wins together. Either idea works fine. The end goal is really more about catching up, shooting the breeze and getting your bodies moving.

Do this as a walking conference call outside to get out of the house for a bit and get some light casual exercise in. The fresh air and walking will help to reinvigorate you for the rest of the day.

6) Impromptu Trivia Breaks 

Nobody can just think about work all day. It’s always good to shift gears and think about other things. And one great way to do this as a group is to have informal trivia sessions.

It’s very easy. Get the group together on an informal or impromptu video call and do a screen share of either of these two free online trivia sites: Random Trivia Generator or Random Question Maker.

Both of these sites are free and don’t require sign-ups. Just open it up in your browser, share the screen and click on a category or questions. Easy-peasy.

7) Celebrate Birthdays & Milestones

For a lot of us, not being tempted by all the office donuts or birthday cakes is a good thing. Both aren’t exactly the healthiest snacks.

But, missing out on wishing your coworkers a happy birthday or congratulating them on reaching a milestone kinda sucks.

So, get the gang together and zoom it up with a short online mini party. Donuts and cake are optional. 😉

8) Go Down The YouTube Rabbit Hole Together

Now, you can’t burn a few hours during the day to watch a NetFlix movie with your work friends, but you can kill a few minutes by watching some crazy or funny YouTube clips together.

Whether it’s bloopers, epic fails, music videos, dogs, cats, stupid humans or anything else for that matter, you can be sure that there’s something out there that can make you guys laugh and smile.

Hop on together and watch a few clips as a quick little mental break from work. After all, having fun at work matters even if everyone is working from home.

Virtual Bonding & Socializing Boosts WFH Happiness

When you're working from home, there’s only so many back-to-back calls and meetings you can endure without some mental downtime.

It’s essential that you give yourself some time to hang out, socialize and connect with others. Having positive and supportive relationships at work not only benefits you from a career standpoint, but it also improves your mood and overall well-being.

So, while there isn’t a virtual water-cooler or break room, you can still do a lot of simple and easy things to chill-n-chat with your friends and coworkers from the office.

Give a few of them a try.

Because honestly, talking with your dog or cat is getting old.

Feel Better,

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