Remote working, how do you socialise?

(18 Posts)
LadyWithLapdog Sat 12-Jun-21 11:34:22

Prompted by new job and article on LinkedIn. How do you socialise when it’s all done remotely?

I haven’t made more than a handful of friends from normal work over many years, so I’m not expecting miracles. I’m looking for tips to help put a “face” to a name and feel less alone.

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FortunesFave Sat 12-Jun-21 11:39:44

I've been working from home and alone for the past ten years. What I do and have always done is to have a Saturday job just to get out of the house. I also make an extra effort to organise walks with mates during my quiet days and to join some classes or clubs.

LadyWithLapdog Sat 12-Jun-21 11:42:54

Thanks for replying. I’m assuming that’s not work mates, just people you know from your non-work life?

I don’t want to feel like an automaton while I work, totally disconnected. I guess I’ll find out with time what sort of interaction is normal and not creepy.

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FortunesFave Sat 12-Jun-21 11:45:23

That's right...non work mates. Mostly women I met through my kids but now all of our kids are older we don't see one another at school gates and I'm starting a pottery class soon. I want to broaden my horizons.

esme333 Sat 12-Jun-21 11:46:24

I would deffo advise trying to not let work time, carry on, even when we have finished. I say this because, when you work and live in the same house the boundaries can get blurred.

Because the remit allowed me to do so; I authorised a 'Hub' so to speak, to be developed for inter-department queries, but also for recreational purposes, after business close. It was difficult because of the legalities and data measures needed.

I met resillience, so i found an alternative solution. Microsoft teams, with time limited 'lobbies' and not work related talk, just social/virtual interaction. I can only speak from experience, that it helped us a great deal.

But generally speaking - Skype, zoom, teams are platforms you can utilise if not already

Youngatheart00 Sat 12-Jun-21 11:49:43

You’re not alone, I find remote working very isolating. I’ve also just moved to a new area so trying to get involved with things that interest me, fitness classes, book club etc. It doesn’t come naturally to me but then I do get lonely so the change in job and then the move has been the impetus.

FortunesFave Sat 12-Jun-21 11:53:33

Youngatheart00

You’re not alone, I find remote working very isolating. I’ve also just moved to a new area so trying to get involved with things that interest me, fitness classes, book club etc. It doesn’t come naturally to me but then I do get lonely so the change in job and then the move has been the impetus.

It doesn't come naturally to me either which is why I orchestrated a solitary working life I suppose! But I've realised it's important to socialise for our health...so I have to make myself!

I live in Australia where restrictions haven't been a problem in my state so I've found that there's a decent freelancer community in my city and they have monthly meet ups for dinner or lunch.

There's also a Business Women of X City group that I've been meaning to join. It all looks a bit too networky for my taste though!

My Saturday job is in a nice arty place and that's like a lifeline though

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NannyAndJohn Sat 12-Jun-21 11:58:46

I've always been of the opinion that work is not somewhere to make friends (which is why I manage a team who are mostly half my age, everyone sees me as the boss rather than a potential chum!).

There are a lot of Meet Up groups doing Zoom socials if you'd be interested in things like that.

LadyWithLapdog Sat 12-Jun-21 12:29:50

As mentioned, I’m realistic about friendships and I expect them to take time. I don’t expect to be chummy with the boss but there must be a happy medium.

@NannyAndJohn how does your team interact? Especially if they’re young people working remotely, it must be tough for them.

@esme333 I know of tools to use, but how do you create those ‘chat’ opportunities without coming across as a bit over-keen?

@Youngatheart00 that must be tough with the change in area as well.

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LadyWithLapdog Sat 12-Jun-21 12:34:44

@FortunesFave I’ve seen (pre-pandemic) some freelancer meetings in my local pub. I’ll admit I was there thinking how weird, now I know it’s not all about MLM and I can see why they used to meet.

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NannyAndJohn Sat 12-Jun-21 12:38:10

LadyWithLapdog

As mentioned, I’m realistic about friendships and I expect them to take time. I don’t expect to be chummy with the boss but there must be a happy medium.

@NannyAndJohn how does your team interact? Especially if they’re young people working remotely, it must be tough for them.

@esme333 I know of tools to use, but how do you create those ‘chat’ opportunities without coming across as a bit over-keen?

@Youngatheart00 that must be tough with the change in area as well.

I don't take interest in their social events so I'm not privy to everything that goes on.

But I know some of them do a monthly quiz night together, and then the company as a whole do things like virtual networking events and virtual escape rooms. I know a couple have them have met up outside of work too (hopefully appropriately socially distanced!).

LadyWithLapdog Sat 12-Jun-21 12:52:46

@NannyAndJohn There might be something similar in the new place. I don’t even know if it’s my kind of thing, it’s just at the moment they are just names on the screen. There are a few checking-in zooms I’ve seen but they are on my working days, and there’s no time for that.

Thanks for all the replies. It’s early days. I realise others have been doing it for months and years and it must be ok.

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TheBitchOfTheVicar Sat 12-Jun-21 12:56:29

My job is a WFH job anyway and my team is quite small so I feel we attend well to the social side of things.

For me, this means scheduling a half-hour meeting which is only 'for a cuppa', which means mostly just social chat, which involves talking generally about our area of work, as we are both interested in it, and very occasionally about specifics of work. But also just chat about shared interests. There are two people I do this with, one who happens to live ten minutes' drive away and one who happens to live three counties away. These are people who I regard as friends; I wouldn't have this kind of meeting with just any colleague.

FortunesFave Sat 12-Jun-21 14:25:34

LadyWithLapdog

*@FortunesFave* I’ve seen (pre-pandemic) some freelancer meetings in my local pub. I’ll admit I was there thinking how weird, now I know it’s not all about MLM and I can see why they used to meet.

God no! We'd never have any MLMs! We're mainly copywriters, web designers, graphic designers etc.

Limetta Sat 12-Jun-21 15:02:12

When someone joins us they are either introduced with their manager by a zoom meeting or if they'll do a one to one, so everyone has had a chance to get to know each other. We have a very relaxed casual style with a flat structure, everyone feels comfortable joking etc. Very conscious of including new members. There are some very funny whatsapp exchanges. We arrange a team dinner every quarter (company pays) and we are about to start arranging a company lunch - brought in for a general chit chat and sharing info. Going to the pub for a pint or going for coffee is a frequent occurrence on the odd days we are in the office. We are in a industry where relationships are important - so we are a pretty sociable bunch.

LadyWithLapdog Sun 13-Jun-21 07:42:52

Limetta - are you in the UK? It sounds like your company has had a full return to normal work with dinners and now planning lunches. That wouldn’t work for remote employees.

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Limetta Sun 13-Jun-21 08:46:43

We are in the UK - no way a full return to work. Team meet once a week - very safe offices. Dinners - less that six people, planned to encourage team members to get to know each other better. Lunches planned in large room enabling social distancing but everyone feels the team need to come together to enable growth both personal and business. Depends on your work culture really. We do not employ people who don't value human interaction and want to stay at home working alone (outside Covid times) - it's an important part of who we are.

Hoppinggreen Sun 13-Jun-21 18:47:20

I never really socialised with people from work, I preferred to keep my private life private. I have 2 very good friends I met via work but who I only became really close to after I left.
I have worked for myself and by myself for 15 years now and have plenty of friends I met various other ways

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