People crave social interactions (just hear me out, introverts). Everyone needs a connection with friends or family, maybe even more so during this time of self-quarantining and social distancing. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch — it just requires some technology and a little bit of creativity.
Try one — or all — of these ways to reach out to colleagues, friends and family you can’t see in person right now.
1. Pick up the phone.
You don’t need a scheduled meeting to check in with someone. Emails can get buried in your inbox, and instant messages are easy to ignore. A quick call can lessen the feeling of distance — and can help avoid misunderstanding the tone of an email.
2. Start a water cooler conversation.
Gathering in the office break room, cafeteria or at a co-worker’s desk may not be possible now, but the conversations can continue. Use chats or tools like Yammer to share photos of your current co-workers (your spouse, children or pets) or your recommendations for shows to stream.
3. Eat, drink and be merry.
You don’t need to be in a restaurant to enjoy a meal with someone. Schedule a virtual lunch, coffee catch-up or happy hour. Pick a date and time, then dial up audio or videoconference with your food and beverage.
4. Plan a book club.
Now that you have time to finish the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand, schedule a Zoom, Google Hangout or Skype get-together to discuss the latest page turner.
5. Work out with a buddy.
If you need motivation to stay on track with your exercise plan, set up a time to practice yoga or indoor cycle with a friend. If you prefer not to video chat while you sweat, ask a buddy to keep you accountable and touch base later.
6. Host a game night.
There are plenty of virtual games like Scrabble or Words with Friends you can play with one or more people.
7. Party on Netflix.
Enjoy a movie night with friends. Netflix Party mode lets you simultaneously stream shows with other people. It even includes a chat window and a play-and-pause option.