Networking

A Blueprint For Networking In A Remote Working Environment

A Blueprint For Networking In A Remote Working Environment

The dust has settled on the “big return to work” following the pandemic. But for 75 million U.S. employees (yes, 56% of our entire country’s workforce), remote working is the new mode of work.

However, a Buffer survey shows that 21% of remote workers rank feeling isolated as their top concern. Watercooler chats and after-work happy hours have been replaced by Zoom calls, web surfing, and FaceTime sessions. 

If you are part of this remote-work generation, try not to feel isolated. There are more ways to network than before.

Remote Networking Ideas For Consistent Career Growth

1. Leverage social media

Social media often gets bad press for being a hotbed of distraction, instant gratification, and negativity. Take this Pew Research Center study, for example, which says that 64% of Americans believe that social media is partly responsible for the wrong direction the country is headed. 

But when it comes to remote working social media can be a blessing. It can actually help you with your remote networking endeavors if you know why and how to use it before wading in. Plus, you don’t have to be present on all social sites; actively engaging only on those platforms relevant to your industry will suffice. 

For instance, if you are a software developer, GitHub is your go-to platform for creating your profile, sharing your work, and connecting with other developers. LinkedIn works for most professional networking, but there are instances when other platforms can do a better job.

As an illustration, if you are a graphic designer, Instagram would be the perfect launch pad for your work. You can use it to connect with other graphic designers globally to share, uplift, and access career-making opportunities.

2. Build or join an online community

Lockdowns are a thing of the past, but loneliness is still a scourge that impacts the happiness of most remote workers, according to one APA study. So, how do you effectively network with people you rarely see in person? 

First, consider creating space for random chats. Make a #random page on Slack and contribute to it regularly. For example, if you come across a cool DIY project or meme outside of your company, share it with your workmates just as you would if they were standing beside you at the water cooler.

You can also bring your team together for fun games on sites like Kahoot. You can even ramp up the competition by pitying teams against each other for prizes. You’ll be surprised by the tidbits of knowledge your colleagues may have. 

3. Attend virtual networking events

Virtual events are now a staple in remote work networking. Not only are they convenient and cost-effective, but they also bring together a more diverse group of people, making it easier to make connections than in-person events. 

These events provide networking facilities through chat features, Q&A sessions, and breakout rooms. You can engage with other attendees at these events, ask thought-provoking questions, and mingle with panelists or speakers afterward.

Remember to actively introduce yourself and follow up with value-added conversations to keep the flames of the new connections burning long after.

Conclusion

From using the power of social platforms to getting to know your colleagues better, there are limitless pathways to create strong professional networks. With the above remote networking ideas, you might discover a hidden talent you never had or meet a new person who’ll open up a career-defining door of opportunity you wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere.

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