Virtual Happy Hours Are So 2020 — 8 Better Ways To Get To Know Your Coworkers

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Jacquelyn Lloyd869
Coach & HR Consultant
May 23, 2024 at 10:18PM UTC

Whether you're new at your company, moving to a new team or working remotely, connecting with others in your organization has never been more difficult – or more awkward. So how do you connect when everyone is burned out, overworked and well over team happy hour?

Everyone has Zoom fatigue, and it can feel weird to reach out to someone you know is busy to make a connection, but building your internal network is critical to job satisfaction and opportunity.

Here are eight ideas to get you started.

1. Break the ice. 

Ask the meeting leader if you can introduce a quick icebreaker activity at the start of your team meetings. Museum Hack has a great list.

2. Play a game together. 

We can learn how others communicate, what they value and how they approach and solve problems in real-time during gameplay. You can use your video conferencing platform tools like whiteboards and breakout rooms to strategize.

3. Share a business article and discuss it as a group. 

Adults need to find immediate use for new learning, so pick something relevant to your workplace. For tips on how to lead a book discussion, check out INALJ.org.

4. Send out fun and relationship-cultivating quizzes or surveys. 

Asking deep questions is a great way to hone communication and develop rapport. For example, try asking, what's something you have always loved doing? Or, If money was no object, where would you travel?

5. Organize a brown bag lunch and learn. 

Does someone on the team have an exciting hobby or non-traditional path to success they would be willing to discuss with a small group? Teaching something to the team can be a great way to develop presentation skills while showcasing hidden talents.

6. Extend an invitation. 

Ask someone for lunch or coffee. 15 minutes is all you need to start building a connection! Be clear about what you want (to get to know them, ask their opinion, kick around an idea) be on time and don't cancel.

7. Volunteer to help with a project. 

Raising your hand for more work might seem like a joke, but it can be a great way to stretch yourself, learn a new aspect of your current company and rub elbows with some new people. Even better if this puts you in the orbit of another team leader at your company.

8. Stay in sight.

Most communication is non-verbal, so keep your video on! If the opportunity to meet up in person presents itself and you can make it — go.

Connection is fundamental to the human experience, so don't be shy about reaching out to people you work with or want to someday. Be curious and listen when others talk without worrying about what you will say next. As Dale Carnegie, networking expert, advised, "To be interesting, be interested." You will be setting yourself up for success by developing deeper connections with your coworkers.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Jacquelyn Lloyd, MSA, SHRM-SCP, is an Executive Coach and HR Consultant helping leaders reimagine leadership and talent practices by providing strategies and programming that improve team performance, employee experience, and business results. 

What’s your no. 1 way to connect with coworkers (besides a virtual happy hour)? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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