How to Make Friends in a Virtual Workplace

By: Charlotte Couch
Dec 15, 2020 • 6 min read

How to Make Friends in a Virtual Workplace – Your Guide to Building Relationships With Coworkers.

Back in the pre-corona days, making friends at work was fun and easy. You could just walk over to someone’s desk and ask them to join you for lunch. These connections were essential. Not only are work friends great for helping you get through a tough day, but they can also help you become a better employee in the long run. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made it hard to make new friends at work, since most of us are now working virtually.

Some people transitioned to the WFH life with their old job. As a result, they don’t have to worry about becoming acquainted with new employees online. Their team already worked together in person. However, thousands of people have had to find new jobs due to mass lay-offs during the pandemic.

Navigating a new workplace online can be daunting. If you have just started a new job, don’t stress too much. In this blog, we will be sharing 9 easy tips for successfully making virtual work friends! So turn your camera on, un-mute yourself, and get ready to work on building connections. 

9 Fun and Simple Tips to Make Virtual Work Friends

Working alone at home can sometimes feel isolating. You can’t stop by your co-worker’s cubicle or grab a quick lunch together. Even though you can’t hang out in person, that doesn’t mean you can’t socialize with your co-workers is other ways! 

1. Schedule One-on-One Virtual Coffee Meetings

Integrating yourself into a new workplace can sometimes feel daunting. You want to make a great impression while you get to know your co-workers. But you can’t just grab a quick coffee or hang out in the break room anymore. However, you can still reach out to schedule a virtual coffee meeting instead!

Virtual workplace networking apps like Donut make it easy to reach out to different workers at your company. If your company doesn’t use something like this, consider recommending it to them! You are probably not the only person who wants to learn how to make friends and build a deeper connection with their co-workers.

2. Join an Online Club or Committee

Some companies have event planning committees and other small groups that employees can join. For instance, a “fun committee” may organize intramural sports games, costume contests, and pizza parties to boost company morale. Even though we are stuck at home, we can still plan some fun virtual events for now. For instance, you can organize a virtual game night filled with fun multiplayer games like Among Us or Fortnite. Or you could arrange an online trivia night or bingo night.

woman in black tank top wearing black headphones

3. Participate in Virtual Happy Hours

Getting to know your co-workers at company parties or Happy Hour get-togethers was fun and easy during the pre-pandemic times. Now that we’re stuck at home, our only options for socializing with them include phone calls and video chats. But even though you can’t see each other in person, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun at your virtual get-togethers. Grab a can of your favorite beer or pour a glass of wine to enjoy as you get to know your co-workers.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out to Colleagues ( They are probably wondering how to make friends, too! ) 

Putting yourself out, there can feel scary. However, sending a quick message to a colleague you aren’t close with opens the door to forming a great relationship with them. Saying something like, “Hi, I’m XXX. I wanted to introduce myself since we’ll be working together. Are you free for a video chat or phone call? I’d love to get to know you!” in an instant message is perfect. Other virtual coworkers might be wondering how to make friends in this unconventional workspace, too. More likely than not, your new co-worker will be excited about the prospect of becoming closer to you.

how to make friends

5. Join Online Groups for People in Your Industry

Don’t limit yourself to networking with employees inside your company. There are numerous Facebook and Gmail groups out there for people from all industries to join, from tech to entertainment to healthcare. There are also some groups out there designed specifically for BIPOC, females, freelancers, and digital nomads.

People may post advice, industry news, and even job openings in these groups. Getting to know people outside your company is a great way to help you develop and grow professionally. If you are interested in mentoring someone or finding a mentor for yourself, networking groups offer a great opportunity for finding people that you might want to work within some capacity.

6. Learning How To Make Friends is a Process – Embrace Solitude in The Meantime

This might not be directly related to making friends online, but it’s an important skill to learn — especially during the pandemic. It can be tempting to scroll through social media, but doing so may make you feel lonelier and out of sync with everyone else. During this new time alone, you should instead try to disconnect from the digital world. At least for a little bit. Trying fun, new activities like yoga or crocheting can help you build a life outside of work that is still quarantine-friendly.

7. Attend Online Industry Events

Right now, industry conferences and events are off the table. However, you can still attend some events online! You can attend one alone or assemble a group of co-workers to join together. These events don’t necessarily have to be work-related. You can find plenty of fun online screenings, seminars, workshops, and more.

how to make friends

8. Assemble an Online Club for People Who Share Similar Interests or Hobbies

Do you love knitting? Start an online knitting club with co-workers who share your passion. Are you obsessed with Fantasy Football? Assemble a team with your work friends. Getting to know your teammates “outside” of work can help you break past superficial relationships and forge strong bonds.

9. Organize Fun Online Competitions Between Departments

Who doesn’t enjoy a friendly competition every now and then? Workplace contests are a fun and easy way to bond with your co-workers. You could throw a costume contest or even vote on who has the best WFH set-up. Whoever wins gets a sweet prize.

Working at home can get pretty lonely. Make sure you stay in touch with your co-workers. Something as simple as a quick Slack message can make their day! How have you been socializing with your co-workers during the pandemic? Connect with us on social media and let us know!

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