Remember before the pandemic, when you had that special work “spouse,” or even just a gang that became your alternate family? Work friendships can run deep and last years, even after you leave the place of employment. And just like everything else, the pandemic has turned it all upside down. 

During the holidays especially, people working remotely may wonder when they’ll ever be with the work group again.

Not long ago, the Today show team at NBC presented strategies for staying in touch with our office besties, we share them below: 

  • “The least we can do is reach out and just state, ‘I miss you,’” said Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and author of “The Business of Friendship.”  Words of affirmation and appreciation also help, like giving them a shoutout in a team meeting or private messaging them to let them know how helpful their presentation was to you.
  • She also suggested starting and ending every conversation with something that will leave the other person feeling good. For example, starting with “I’m so glad we’re talking,” and ending with “It was great talking with you.”
  • Since the old way of grabbing an afternoon coffee together is harder to do right now, come up with another way to connect, like calling each other on the phone or taking a walk around your block just to get away from the screen, Nelson suggested.
  • If you live too far away, try sharing an after-work cocktail with each other over Zoom to replace the old-school, in-person happy hour.
  • “We have to be more intentional now,” she said about making work friends. Just as parents have to create more social interactions for their kids during virtual learning, adults need to make socialization at work a priority, too.
  • With remote work friends, though, it’s important to give each other permission to reach out whenever you need to. Make the effort to maintain those relationships. It’ll boost your happiness and productivity, and you’ll have a good friend to call anytime.