Eight Useful Tips For Staying Close And Connected With Your BFF At Work
For six years, Ron Smith and Julianne Reynolds saw each other every workday. They consistently high-fived each other in the hallways. They regularly shouted to one another from their offices at the bank where they worked in Chicago, Illinois. They shared lunch, exercise routines, and even shared books they had read.
Then suddenly, when the Pandemic hit in March of last year, they went home.
Ron even said “Getting to see Julianne was a special part of my workday. Now that we are both remote, I miss her greatly.”
After we all became remote, we Facetimed, Slacked, and Zoomed but it just isn’t the same as working in-person. In fact, a recent survey of 10,322 working adults found that 65% of remote workers say that their new virtual work world has made them feel less connected to their coworkers.1
Some of these workers just forged ahead and tried to make do during those first post-pandemic months. Others created virtual happy hours but quickly realized that it just wasn’t the same as sharing a cocktail in-person.
The office was the great work equalizer placing many diverse and different people together in one place. Old, young, Dads, Moms, singles were all placed in one environment. Work is to adults what school was for children. It is the one part of our lives where we are grouped with the very same people every day.
In today’s reality, even for those people still working in person, it can be a lot more difficult to bond and feel connected. Social distancing, masking, plexiglass barriers, uneven schedules, and fear have all put a serious damper on workplace intimacy and workday rituals.
“Going into the office is now like visiting a graveyard,” Julianne said. “No workplace events. No staff meetings. Empty desks. Power outages. It has made the office an extremely lonely place.”
Ron explained further “Julianne was my BFF at work for years. Once the pandemic hit, I feel I lost my BFF. I had major separation anxiety.”
So, what can workers do to reconnect with their BFF at work? Here are eight useful tips to do so:
- Begin your day together, either by saying “Good morning” via text, facetime, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or phone.
- Make more time during meetings to catch up with one another. If there are more than five people, consider establishing breakout rooms.
- Add structure by using a set agenda.
- Encourage each participant to share a special workplace experience or accomplishment.
- Ensure that each interaction holds meaningfulness and purpose.
- Proactively encourage fun, gamification, and joke-telling.
- Consider hosting a virtual happy hour or food tasting.
- If your BFF is forced to work late, choose to stay and work late as well; this gesture will definitely make you feel better connected.
By following these useful tips, your workers will not only stay close and connected with their BFF, but also take your employee engagement to world-class levels.
1 Pew Research Center Study Dated October, 2020.