Some research indicates that loneliness might be as much of health risk as smoking. Marisa Franco, Ph.D., was previously a professor at Georgia State University, where she became an academic expert on friendship. She currently works as a policy fellow at Millenium Challenge Corporation. Apps are also trying to help us make new friends from our living room. Vina, and Bumble BFF are just a few that offer you a way to quickly peek into the interests of thousands of women (and a few, men too!) for purely platonic relationships. Don’t let it dissuade you, however, from tapping into the random chat every once and a while. You might get the sense of someone’s personality, likes, and dislikes that would make you interested in linking up with them outside the depersonalized, emoji-filled world of messaging apps.
Anyone know how to make friends in your kid 20s when you move to a new state and work from home during a global pandemic?
— Simba (@filmandskate) December 6, 2020
The alternative of not sharing and not establishing friendships is that so much of the “real” parts of our lives have to be separated from the “work” parts. I believe that friendship at work is a risk worth taking. Many of us spend eight hours a day working, and if we compartmentalize and silo, we have no one to talk to about what we are struggling with or celebrating. That is the foundation of loneliness — which has tremendous costs and negative consequences. I hope there won’t be too many lonely times in your digital nomad journey though.
First, Commit to Being More Social IRL
Some people love sharing the things they wish they’d known when they were in your shoes. Start by reaching out to the people on your team. Next, reach out to your broader department and to other colleagues you find yourself collaborating with on projects. Being the new person in the office is a license to get to know people. While Facebook is a source for these groups, more active interest groups appear on Reddit or Meetup.com.
If new episodes of your show are airing, ask your colleague what they think. And if you yourself are joining an after work outing ― whether it gets set up through official work channels or not ― ask if they, too, would like to join. “When you first get hired, that is the time that you can reach out,” says Haller. “So things like introducing yourself how to make friends when you work from home to your team members, reaching out, making a phone call, putting together a team meeting so everybody could get to know each other,” these are all par for the course. At Atlassian, some teams even have a virtual messy-desk faceoff in Slack every week. You can learn about someone by seeing what objects they have sitting in front of them all day.
People Are Opting for a ‘Soft Life’–Will It Really Transform Your Wellbeing?
Don’t try to pursue friendships with people who make you uncomfortable. Leaving a friendship can be difficult, even if it’s unhealthy. If you have to end your friendship, give yourself time to grieve over the loss. People often lose contact with their friends because they’re either too busy or just don’t value their friends enough.
Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better. With an Open mindset, teams can achieve great things. It’s not about the type of office or the perks of the job. It’s not even about the tools you use – although they help. It is the willingness to share your point of view, and listen to the point of view of others.