Tips for staying connected virtually

Canada Life - Mar 02, 2021
Whether you’re still working from home or practicing social distancing, here are some tips to stay engaged with your coworkers, loved ones and community
Man and woman socially distancing outside a house

For many Canadians, the virtual world is still a reality as they continue working from home and connecting with loved ones digitally. In fact, nearly one-quarter of Canadian businesses expect that 10% or more of their workforce will continue to work remotely beyond the COVID-19 pandemic . 

While you may have adjusted to this way of living, it’s common to feel fatigued by this new ‘virtual normal’ and crave in-person connection over video gatherings. Use these helpful tips and reminders to shake up the way you stay engaged online: 

With your colleagues

  • Keep your camera on: It’s easy to hide behind your camera, especially first thing in the morning when you may be feeling extra groggy. But a great way to stay connected with colleagues is to treat your virtual time as if you were together in-person, sitting at your desks or around the boardroom table. 
  • Add social breaks into your day: Without those social breaks you’d typically have in-between work at the office, you can easily lose track of time and end up working longer hours. Setting up time with your co-workers to play a game or have a virtual water cooler chat can help strike a balance. This is also a great strategy for employers to keep a remote team connected and avoid work from home burnout.  

You can discover even more great tips for working from home here. 

With your friends and family

  • Host a dinner party: How do you stay connected with family during lockdowns? Staying social is important for our mental health and a great way to do that is to schedule those holiday or celebratory dinners virtually. Better yet, plan these weekly with different family members or friends to make up for those times where you may have popped over for a meal. Keep it simple or plan an elaborate recipe you’ll both cook and eat together.  
  • Get your game on: Take your game nights online! Set up board games or pull out the card deck over video that you can play with friends and family. Some platforms like Houseparty allow you to play games within the video application, while others like Zoom and Facebook messenger allow you to share your screen and play a game together. 

With your community

  • Lend a hand: Can you do volunteer work online? Absolutely! Like businesses, many non-profits and charities have turned to virtual volunteering help move their mission forward. Whether they’re looking for a committee or board member, or expertise to help deliver online programming, there are lots of ways to get involved. Research opportunities in your region on job boards, non-profit websites and social media to see how you can provide support. 
  • Explore local activities and entertainment: Many musicians and event organizers are holding live viewings. Put on your dancing shoes and listen to your favourite artist from the comfort of your home. Watch tours of the latest art displays at a local museum or take part in a virtual yoga session. There are also several online professional development, conference, and networking opportunities. You can explore them on websites like Eventbrite, Facebook and your local tourism websites.

There’s so much value in staying connected virtually with your coworkers, friends and family. It’s also important to stay in touch with other experts or mentors in your life, who can help provide guidance around everything from your career to your physical, mental and financial health. For all your financial security goals and needs, I’m happy to connect virtually!