Many different circumstances lead us to want to find and build new friendships. Moving to a new city or country, a big break-up, or as is common in the last couple of years, switching to remote work. Any of these are bound to make us feel the need to get out there and make new friends.
How Do Adults Make Friends Outside of Work?
Children and teenagers find themselves in environments with people their age and with similar interests. But for adults, that’s not always the case. The structures that people once relied on to make friends, such as school, camp, religious gatherings at the church, synagogue, or Mosque, or neighborly communities your parents might have formed, start to dwindle as you get older. As remote work has become more popular the typical office environment which also served as a source of community, or neighborly communities, has also slowly drifted away, and adults have lost another social structure that facilitates meeting new people.
Making new friends is not as straightforward or easy as it looks in 90s movies. Being an adult in today’s world comes with its own set of complications. Not only do Millennials and Gen Z (Zennials) have to find and make friends, but they also have to deal with the added pressure of social media and maintaining an online persona.
Research has shown that work colleagues typically comprise a large amount of friendship and acquaintance social circles and these work relationships can be crucial to your health and overall wellbeing. When you don’t have access to the day-to-day camaraderie you would normally get in the office with other people, meeting new people becomes harder. If you work remotely from home full time, meeting new people and forging new friendships can get a little tricky. Tricky but not impossible. Below I share some unexpected and useful tips on how to make friends when you work remotely.
Here are useful tips on how to make friends when you work remotely
Use Your Existing Network
A good place to start is: with what and with whom you know.
Working remotely can feel lonely and sometimes awkward but chances are if you are working remotely and seeking friends, your colleagues probably feel the same. Reach out to your co-workers, and turn your remote work relationship into real-life friendships.
If forming friendships with your colleagues is not an option, start by reaching out to old friends or friends in other cities and see if they can connect you to anyone in the city you live in. Friends of friends are a great way to meet people because if you already have a mutual friend with a person, you probably have more in common than you think.
There are plenty of online communities, apps, and websites that can aid you in your search to find a friend. Meetup.com has many activities, meetups, and events listed in thousands of cities so you are sure to find something that sparks your interest or a new hobby you have always wanted to try. You can also check out Facebook Groups. Yes, Facebook might be stale but you can still get value from the platform. Try joining Facebook groups of your neighborhood or city and attending their events or make a post about wanting to meet people and make friends. You would be surprised at the response you get.
Bumble now has a specific section for making friends, Bumble BFF. The process of dating and making friends is not so different after all. Finding a friend online through a friend-making app is a great way to speak to different people without the commitment or the awkwardness of a first “friend date.” And you get to meet people who want the same thing as you do so there is a shared openness. Whether it’s an app or a website, find your virtual friend and move the friendship to IRL by suggesting to go for a walk or to get a coffee. Or both.
Try Coworking Spaces
Remote working doesn’t have to mean being chained to your home office and staying indoors all day. Coworking spaces allow you to mix up the mundanity of remote working to get out of the house and meet new people. It also gives you a chance to create a healthy barrier between work life and home life.
Coworking spaces are designed for remote workers who crave the community of office space. They can be a good way to build friendships as there are opportunities to engage and participate in group activities similar to a typical work environment. Besides WeWork which is in most cities, search for independent coworking spaces in your city and You’d be surprised what you find. The Croissant app is a great tool that can help you find other options.
How To Date When You Work Remotely
Making friends as an adult and dating are similar. They both involve putting yourself out there, getting to know someone new, and making a connection. Being single and working from home means meeting romantic partners might require more than usual time and effort. It might sound cheesy, but ultimately you have to put yourself out there. Here are some tips for dating when you work remotely.
People are now much more likely to meet on dating apps, and it is now much more common for couples to proudly disclose that they met on an app. Apps such as Bumble and Hinge are usually associated with people looking for something more serious. But there are endless options for dating apps, you just have to find what’s right for you.
Many relationships are born out of friendships. Start by building friendships with people you already know, or get closer with already existing friends. A friendship is a perfect foundation for a relationship, and who doesn’t want a When Harry Met Sally kind of romance?
Put Yourself Out There, Literally
Similar to building friendships, it’s a lot easier to find romantic interests if you get out of the house. Find a local coworking space, coffee shop, or bar, and don’t be afraid to make small talk. Become a regular somewhere, and meet the other regulars. Get to know the people that are literally in your area by going out for coffee and walks, and being open-minded.