How to Make Friends If You Work From Home

Tell anyone you work from home, and you get a chorus of cheers for all the life flexibility that it must bring. A home office has its perks! But working from home day after day definitely starts to feel different than a lucky summer Friday answering emails on the couch.

You quickly miss the natural connection with coworkers where so many of us ultimately find great friendships. Making friends as an adult can already be a bit tricky, and we often rely on an office for much of that post-school interaction. As increasing numbers of us work virtually (or for ourselves!), there are more people than you might expect hoping to make new friends outside of a workplace.

 

Source: Ronan Setias

 

Relocate Your Office And Enroll the Staff

We all know that one of the best ways to meet new people is to switch up the landscape. It might not be news to start working from your local coffee shop, but approaching it a little differently is the key to making new connections.

The next time you’ve set up shop in your favorite cafe, chat with the barista or manager and get conversational. Make the staff your allies in friend-finding! Tell them what you do and let them know that you’re always interested in meeting new people. Partially outsourcing the friend search is particularly helpful for us introverts who might not always be bold enough to strike up a chat with whomever is sitting next to us!

 

Source: The Wing

 

Try a Co-Working Space

According to the 2018 Global Co-Working Forecast, 1.7 million people will be working from shared spaces by the end of 2018. That is ample opportunity to periodically recreate the morning water cooler chat! Co-working spaces are really coming into their own, with some even taking it a step further and becoming social clubs. For example, The Wing in New York City and Washington, D.C. is a co-working space and community just for women that also hosts events like film screenings and conversations with local politicians.

You don’t have to be in a big city or shell out a lot of cash to benefit from co-working. Local schools often have open public workspaces, and even your library probably has a spot where people can collaborate and meet without the 12 inch whisper.

 

 

Attend Industry Events

This is another no-brainer until you stretch your comfort zone a bit and take it outside of your own work industry. I know plenty of finance folks, so I’m not trolling the American Banker’s Association to meet new friends. Instead, I try to find out where culinary professionals are gathering and learning about their craft. Dessert and talented artists? Count me in.

Also, if you’re not a one-woman shop, you’re bound to have virtual colleagues in the same position as you are scattered around the country (and maybe the world!). Check through your company’s employee association and see if there are virtual meet-up groups, annual events, or employee chat forums that give you an opportunity to get to know colleagues outside of a work email. (Not a thing? “I founded our company’s virtual employee meet-up network” sounds like the perfect talking point in your next interview.)

 

 

Make an Effort on Social Media

Ironically, social media can feel little isolating at its worst, but at it’s best, it’s a powerful way to bring people together. Effort is different than issuing a “like.” If your usual go-to is casually scrolling and double-tapping your way through your favorite platform, carve out a few minutes to actually reach out to people a little more authentically. Share an article you think they’ll enjoy, or, if you’ve been trading Twitter headlines for years, invite them to a book signing you’d both appreciate.

Apps are also trying to help us make new friends from our living room. Friender, Hey! 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.

 

 

Leverage Your Hobbies

Whatever lights your fire after you close the laptop is the perfect gateway to a new friendship. Now, figure out how to do it in a group. Do you have a green thumb? Maybe your local soup kitchen has a rooftop garden that is always looking for a few spare hands.

If you’re hustling toward a fitness goal, there’s undoubtedly a community out there sweating along with you. No-gym-required communities such as Tone it Up and Lauren Gleisberg followers can seek out hashtags and almost always find a local meet-up of like-minded ladies.

 

 

Accept Blind Dates

With slightly lower stakes than the actual dating game, ask your existing friends to intro you around! Most of us have several friend groups we run in (school friends, work colleagues, or maybe a partners’ friends) which creates great opportunities for some cross-introductions!

Try telling an existing friend that you’re “looking to expand your social circle” and ask them who they think you should grab coffee with. Planting the seed that you’re someone who likes to connect will keep you top of mind to be included as your friends add new relationships of their own.

 

How have you met friends outside of the office? Tell us how you did it below!

  • LOVE this post! I think this is something that can be really tricky when you work from homme and something many people face! That’s one reason I love social media!! It really connects me to the outside world

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

  • Ryann Carter

    Love this so much! Pushing myself out there (I’m an introvert) has really helped me make friends (I actually did a post on it). But I try to sign up for all of the things (within reason) and I’m making friends! I also met my husband on a double blind date!
    http://www.holycitylife.com

  • Katia

    I worked from home and moved to a new city – I quit because of this reason (I am also an introvert and its really hard for me to be open like this).
    I am both of Tone It Up girl and follow Lauren’s programs and EVERY close friend I have met in this area are all because of those groups. Totally recommend, even if you are not super into fitness (like I was, but changed because I fell in love with TIU), you can always just go on a hike, grab coffee, etc.
    Search insta for #TIUcity or #TIUstate – thats how I started following, and meeting, people.

    @katia_mot.tiu

  • I think a lot of these tips are great for people who DO work in offices or physical locations but don’t really connect with their coworkers. I know my lifestyle and beliefs are very different from the people I work with primarily, so I still tend to seek my friendships outside the sphere of work.

  • LynnP2

    I kept my DC job when I moved to NY (and still LOVE the job), but when I moved here I already had a lot of friends in the area. Now, two years later, a lot of them have moved away, and I haven’t made new ones because it’s so tough when you work at home. These are good tips, will be giving some of them a try!

  • I really loved this article! I’m an illustrator who lives in the Chicago suburbs, and I constantly have to remind myself to leave the house and drive to a coffee shop!! Working from home can be so isolating, and it’s nice to hear that other people can relate. Attending more industry events and leveraging my hobbies are definitely things I want to work on this year. P.S. The Everygirl is my absolute favorite blog, so thank you very much for all the inspiring content:)