Featured June 25, 2020 Communicating during the coronavirus: Advice from a Microsoft leader Back to Blog Three tips for building good working relationships in a virtual environment Date July 6, 2020 | Updated on July 1, 2021 Authors Zach Taylor Tags Workforce Social distancing doesn’t require social disconnection, and thanks to an abundance of technology tools, you can still grow your network while working from home. All it takes is an internet connection and openness to new experiences. Research shows that social interaction at work is important, especially as it helps create a sense of belonging. So we wanted to share with you some ways you and your organization can improve its relationships in a virtual environment. Schedule virtual coffee or happy hours with your coworkers. Take the initiative to arrange online meetups with your coworkers and friends. Socializing through a computer screen is different than interacting in person because it’s more difficult to pick up on nonverbal cues and a faulty internet connection could cause the screen to freeze. But it doesn’t take long to get used to it, and the adjustment is worth it. Attend virtual conferences and speak up. Many conferences that used to be in person are now virtual. Find ones that interest you and participate in the conversations. You might find you’re able to network with more people than you typically would. For example, a person from California who is interested in a conference offered by a government agency in Washington, D.C., might be able attend a virtual event he or she wouldn’t have been able to attend if it meant buying a ticket and spending hours traveling each way. Use LinkedIn to grow and maintain your professional network. LinkedIn, which has more than 575 million active users, is a great way to grow your professional network. You can find and connect with others who share your areas of expertise and encounter similar work-related problems, and you might find ideas for new career opportunities. A recent study showed that people who used LinkedIn more regularly and have a large number of connections had better career outcomes than those who didn’t. Remember that social connection enables positive mindsets, which are important for productivity. To stay productive, consider these three tips as you continue working virtually. For more tips on working in a virtual environment, check out: Teleworking 9 to 5: Tips for working from homeSupervising interns in a virtual environment: Five tips to keep interns engagedThe importance of emotional intelligence and communication in a virtual world This post is by Zach Taylor, a former intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.