Four Ways to Stay Connected with Your Colleagues

June 8th, 2020 by The Franchise Development Team

 

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The year 2020 has been an eventful year – sorry – five months. We’ve spent more than 90 days following stay-at-home orders, wearing face coverings to shop for essentials and trying (and failing) to find soap and hand sanitizer anywhere. During this time, we’ve also dealt with unemployment, furloughs, work from home and homeschooling. (We won’t talk about that last one.) On top of this, we’re experiencing the biggest civil rights movement in history.

What does this mean? We’re tired, scared and stressed. Living through these huge events often means that we put our own needs on hold, including the very important and basic need: human connection. While social media use may have increased dramatically over the past few weeks, it will never solely meet the need for maintaining personal connections.

Under normal circumstances, I talk to numerous co-workers during a workday, sometimes about work, but often it’s about our personal lives. It helps relieve stress, break up my day and even clear my head, which serves to enhance the quality of the work I produce. To help cultivate these same experiences during social distancing, many co-workers and friends have found other ways to stay connected. So, to celebrate National Best Friend’s Day, here are some ideas that may help you maintain and grow your relationships.

  1. Give them a phone call.

As a millennial, I dislike phone calls, so just text me. Send me an email. It’s faster. Under normal circumstances, I’d probably still feel this way, but now, I’ve realized that hearing a friend or co-workers voice provides a deeper connection than an email or text message. I feel better after chatting with someone on the phone. I think it leads to more robust conversation and shares your thoughts or frustrations, but just remember to talk about things other than work.

  1. Host a virtual happy hour.

Before COVID-19, my co-workers would set up a monthly happy hour at a nearby bar or restaurant. Now, they’ve evolved it into a bi-weekly virtual happy hour. This is a great way for all of us to see each other and chat about anything non-work related. Sometimes a game or two is played, but overall it’s a fun way to relax and let off steam.

  1. Start a virtual book club.

Book clubs can be a lot of fun and reading is fundamental. It’s interesting to listen to co-workers and friends discuss what they took away from each chapter and for you to share your takeaways. Given our country’s current circumstances, consider choosing books written by authors of color, particularly ones that dissect racism. Here’s a great list to get you started.

  1. Plan a video call.

Along the same lines of virtual happy hours and book clubs, are video chats. Try scheduling time to chat with a co-worker or two during a virtual coffee or lunch break. It’s more intimate than the entire team, and it’s another great way to break up the day.

So tell us, how do you stay connected with friends and co-workers?

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