Learn more about teamwork with this collection
How to balance flexibility and structure in a hybrid team environment
Understanding the challenges of managing a hybrid team
How to maintain team cohesion
Being cc’ed on an email or invited to an instant message group is a new opportunity for you to look at who’s in the “room”—and introduce yourself.
Each time you have a comment or question that you didn’t get a chance to raise in a meeting is a new opportunity for you to approach and spark a conversation with someone later, one-on-one. Whether it’s congratulating someone or asking a brief question, you will have a few conversation topics to warm things up with.
Events that involve an entire team, department, or even company are more than just about sharing information. They are also hidden opportunities to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Do your homework on a particular speaker you care to impress. Then, ask a well-researched question to make a distinct impression.
Even if you don’t quite get along with your company-assigned mentor or “buddy,” they can be a gateway to meeting more people in the firm. A question like, “Do you happen to be connected to anyone who . . . ?”
A simple question like this can be all it takes to spark the first connection with someone you wouldn’t have otherwise met.
From employee or business resource groups to hiring committees, cross-company working groups can be a great way to meet people—particularly senior people who care to give back.
These committees offer an additional advantage: they give you a common interest, experience, or identity to break the ice with—and to bond over.
When you find yourself in the office, make a list of colleagues you’ve only met over email, phone, or video chat and figure out where they sit.
Then, approach them with a “just thought I’d introduce myself in person given that we’ve only ever met online!”
Scroll through your company’s internal directory, and identify the people you’d like to work with, learn from, or simply have a conversation with. Reach out with: “I noticed ____ and would love to learn more about how you navigated from ___ to ___. Would you be free for a short conversation at the following times?”
If your company doesn’t have an internal directory, search for current or former employees using LinkedIn.
Large projects may be bureaucratic, but they are also hidden opportunities to meet people across departments or even geographic locations, therefore serving as a conduit to individuals you would rarely make contact with.
If you have the bandwidth and the project in question doesn’t look unwieldy, consider raising your hand.
After a long time of working online, it can be tempting to grab that laptop and hide in a cubicle or side room, even when you’re in the office. This is a missed opportunity to maximize your run-ins with others—and negates the value of being in the office in the first place.
Camp out in the communal pantry, near a bathroom, or out in the open—and turn eye contact into a nod into a smile into a “so, no more working from home, huh?”
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