Staying Social in Remote Work
Lots of companies, blueStone included, have transitioned to fully- or mostly-remote operations. This means that you may be one of many people working from home. Besides adjusting one’s role to an online setting, people also notice a shift in social connection when working remotely. This can be especially tough for extroverted people who choose remote work for its other benefits (accessibility, lack of commute or distance restraints) but might still enjoy the social nature of a bustling office. In this post, we will discuss some ways to foster that social connection in a remote job.
Social Media in WFH Jobs
The overuse and/or misuse of social media has been discussed a lot in the past decade. Terms like “chronically online” represent a societal movement to monitor and meter our usage of social networking. This doesn’t mean any use is bad, and we feel that social media can be a helpful addition to your social life as a work-from-home professional. We will talk about a few of the popular platforms and how you can use them to stay connected with your coworkers.
While most people on LinkedIn use the platform as a living resume to network with, you can also keep up to date with your remote coworkers. You can hear about their latest achievements, plans, or thoughts on various topics and engage with them. Much of this content is similar to the kind of thing you’d learn in the office break room or other situations you may not experience in a remote job. There are not many professionals without a LinkedIn account nowadays, but you might find a huge difference in the post frequency of your various connections. If your coworkers do not engage much with the platform, you might benefit from checking out LinkedIn Groups.
You can also improve your social bond with remote coworkers through Facebook. This platform is less business-focused than LinkedIn, so you can engage with content that explores the more personal side of your network. Post frequency can vary greatly here too, so you may find a lot of your connections dormant. Like LinkedIn, you can also connect with people outside your network through Groups, discussion hashtags, and targeted searches. You can use Facebook to keep up with the personal lives of your coworkers that use the platform, helping you bond more in scenarios like meetings or outings.
Instagram serves a purpose similar to Facebook. The platform welcomes more day-to-day and personal content than LinkedIn. You may find that lots of your younger coworkers will have Instagram accounts, whereas your older coworkers are likely to only be on Facebook, according to insights by Pew Research Center. Instagram offers a smooth interface and is centered around digital media like photo and video, making it a favorite among content creators. While you can interact with content on Instagram, the platform is much more conducive to audience-style participation. It offers permanent posts and Snapchat-style stories, so you may see frequent content from your network. This can be helpful information in a WFH social life, especially when working with younger people.
This platform began to support video gaming but has since expanded to many other users. People use Discord as a communication/connection tool for all kinds of business, education, and recreation. The network offers a chat functionality as well as voice/video communications and content streaming. This helps facilitate group activities like watching TV/films, listening to music, and chatting. Coworkers can organize events to hang out online and help replace the social contact lost by working remotely.
Face-to-Face Social Opportunities
Sometimes digital alternatives just don’t cut it. If you feel this way about social connection in a remote job, you might have some options.
Your company, especially if fully- or mostly- remote, may have social outings to alleviate this very concern. Many times, a business will employ those who live near the headquarters but still work remotely most of the time. This is usually for the sake of operations and any duties the role might have on-site, but it also presents a great opportunity to increase social bonding amongst the team.
If your company has an event coordinator, you may be able to ask about any planned outings. Some companies will plan around holiday events or business schedules, such as monthly, quarterly, or annual outings.
What if your company doesn’t sponsor in-person outings? Or for one reason or another you didn’t like it? You can always join in on or create opportunities within your department. A group dinner or a fun event can be a great way to improve your bond with your closest coworkers. Department-wide social events can be less hectic and lead to more actionable connection due to the closer status of the attendees. These are pretty standard even among in-person jobs but can be especially helpful in your WFH social life.
Zooming out, you can also benefit socially from events held by other organizations in your industry. Conferences, seminars, and workshops can give you the opportunity to speak with, learn from, and spend time with a lot of different people in your given professional sector. This is not only good for your social needs but can also be extremely beneficial to your professional success. You can try turning to your direct manager to learn more about such opportunities and you can also find a lot of them on LinkedIn.
blueStone’s Social Efforts
We know how important maintaining a good social connection with our team is to our company’s aims. Each quarter, we hold a series of group outings that both allow for some in-person business meetings and encourage pure social interaction between our team members. We usually choose a fun activity to include such as go-karting, bowling, and painting. We also keep active on social networks, using group chats in MS Teams to share light-hearted messages and engaging with each other on LinkedIn. The friendly nature of our management team also promotes remote social bonding during work hours; joining the meeting a few minutes early means a nice conversation while we wait for the others!
blueStone Staffing is a Certified Woman-Owned IT Staffing Company. We were founded in 2002. One of North America’s premier staffing firms, we assist mid-tier to Fortune 500 clients. We find talented candidates that can help complete your project on time and within budget. Our company is transforming the staffing industry. blueStone has excelled over the last 19 years, becoming the vendor of choice for many of the Fortune 1000 companies located in the United States. We hope to be the consultant that you trust your professional IT project needs to! We will surround you with meaningful attention. Our team creates long-term relationships with our clients, candidates, and associates. In brief, we help great people execute their vision.
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