As we reintegrate back into society, coming back from holidays, returning to work, and interacting in person with others, we’re faced with an “awkward” phase. As workers, you’ve forgotten how to interact with teammates, colleagues, and coworkers without a screen.
Although bonding continued over shared situations or interests (working from home with kids, unruly pets, or even hobbies), we’ve neglected the relationships that thrive on short chats waiting at the coffee pot and bumps-ins at the printer. Now, it’s finally time to give these relationships the attention they deserve – and rekindle the ones you lost while working remotely.
Here are three easy ways to reconnect with your colleagues:
#1) Save Time for Small Talk
Small talk can be tiresome, but it can also be fulfilling in the acquaintanceships that coworkers have. The Oxford English Dictionary defines small talk as “polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters.” But, what’s the benefit?
Small talk not only improves social skills but also helps define a relationship. It can enable participants to assess the mood and receptiveness of each other.
Making time for small talk in the workplace conveys the message that you are eager to socialize again
and helps identify others of the same mindset.
#2) Practice Social Interactions
Practice might not make perfect, but it does make progress. Practicing social interactions goes beyond making small talk; it means conversing with colleagues in all situations. Good ways to practice social interaction are:
- Meeting up with colleagues face-to-face to discuss project aspects
- Connecting situations in casual conversation to your everyday life
- Introducing yourself to new (or unknown) colleagues
- Scheduling co-working sessions or coffee breaks
The biggest challenge when practicing social interactions is breaking through your comfort zone. Talking to new people or re-establishing connections with people who you haven’t spoken to in a while can be nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing; it’s important to push back and socialize anyways.
#3) Make Plans
How do you reconnect with your colleagues? You make plans to reconnect. Reconnecting with your colleagues doesn’t need to be overwhelming or overcomplicated; it can be as simple as planning to meet up with them.
Try scheduling a co-working session with a colleague that lives near you, or, if you work further away, schedule a coffee chat with all your coworkers next time you’re in the same place. Meet-ups can be held anywhere – restaurants, coffee shops, or co-working and meeting spaces.
Making plans is typically a more definite way of reconnecting with your colleagues as others may feel an obligation to attend or uphold their promise of attendance rather than avoiding the situation. Plans can also be made as far ahead of time as needed, meaning that colleagues that may not be in the office can still attend.
If you’re a team leader, plan to have a quarterly meeting in a designated place to ensure that team members are not drifting even further apart.
Looking for a space to reconnect with your colleagues through a group setting or co-working? Learn more about the flexible workspaces available at District Offices.