During the stints of professional life that I've been an employee, I have made friends and had some great times along the way. Trusted work friends who listen and give solid advice make work a lot more bearable, especially when we really can’t find our way out of some challenges. That resource is available, in part, because of proximity but mostly because you have things in common like the nature of the work you do and how you spend your free time.
In my current life as a consultant, I do not have the warm embrace of the water cooler chat or the Starbucks coffee run to get advice and be an ear to my workplace friends. I miss it sometimes and I’ll venture to say that others in my position do to.
I had the opportunity to meet a great group of people at a breakout session conference that I attended a few months ago. We started talking over lunch and just kept on talking. Along the way, we discovered that we have a lot of the workplace friend criteria except proximity. Think of us like the pictures in the above photo. All cool and creative but different sizes and themes. Now take those pictures and connect them from different locations and you’ve got our group!
Fortunately, we’re not inanimate objects and thanks to a lot of emails followed by using the internal messaging app Slack, asking for and giving advice is a click away.
It’s pretty cool. And it’s the way of working for creative types in cities around the world. It’s kind of like a virtual co-working space. We are in similar fields so there is a bit of clustering as well. It feels good to know that I can reach out to a group of people with similar experiences but from different sources. It not only adds to my knowledge but also makes me feel in touch with the rest of the world because I am able to share my experiences too.
If you’re sitting at a keyboard in your tiny office somewhere, never fear. Until you can meet up with your virtual work friends in virtual reality, you may just have the best of both worlds.
Find out more about me at royanndean.com and let’s get social on Instagram and twitter @royanndean.
I'm a strategic marketing communication consultant who works with premium brands to tell compelling brand stories, guide perception, drive engagement and build loyalty to win hearts and wallets. Find out more about me at www.royanndean.com, follow me on Twitter @royanndean and Linkedin.