18th January 2021

How To Find Community and Connection Online

Right now we’re all practising social distancing wherever we can. We’re currently trying to navigate our way through a worrying and unsettling time and with the last few months of lockdown firmly under our belts, many of us crave connection and community more than ever, especially if you’re used to working in co-working space. Today we’re sharing tips on how to find community and connection online during a time of physical separation. Living in this evolving virtual world does have it’s advantages and thankfully, means that connection and community can be just a click away.

Here are some ways you can find this community and connection online:

1. Join online communities

The good news is that there are plenty of them with a range of different topics and purposes. Within Ormeau Baths we have our Slack community for members to chat, ask questions and stay connected with those who formerly were just a desk or a cup of tea away. You could also join online communities completely unrelated to work for example, a fitness community or explore the online communities and Facebook groups set up in conjunction with your favourite podcasts. Facebook groups are a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people, check out their recommendations and just have a bit of a chit chat with those with similar interests to you. It’s worth taking time to dig around and see what communities might take your fancy.

2. Join Slack

Someone recently described Slack as being like the grown-up version of MSN which really hit the nail on the head. If you’re yet to join, it basically allows you to be part of different channels which represent conversation themes, for example, Business Resources or Water Cooler Chat. Our Slack community for Ormeau Baths has come alive with chatter from members checking in on each other, sharing news or links to resources, asking for support or just having a laugh together. What’s great about Slack as opposed to a Facebook group is that it is its own platform which means you don’t get distracted or tempted to scroll through your news feed after you’ve checked in with the group. You can download it to your desktop or your phone, check in as often as you want and receive notifications when someone has sent you a message or started a conversation in a channel you’re part of. It’s perfect for diving in and out of conversation with others and replicating that office chatter feeling.

3. Use Zoom as a substitute for social events

I know, I know, not another Zoom quiz but hear us out. Zoom offers the opportunity to take the social events we miss and host them online. Sometimes, a voice call just doesn’t cut it and a group catch up via video chat can help to squash the distance between us all right now. Try them with friends and family for things like Sunday dinner or as a replacement for those birthday drinks down at the pub. Business-wise, it’s a great way to host team training or if events are core to your business structure, you can adapt the content and host them online instead of scrapping them completely. Within Ormeau Baths, we share all our in-house virtual events through the newsletter so keep your eyes peeled for details there and feel free to join in next time there’s an event running. If nothing else, attending online social events is a different way to connect and a chance to shake up your work from home routine which, let’s be honest, can get pretty monotonous.

4. Give virtual co-working a try

With so many now working from home, it’s natural that many of us are experiencing loneliness and isolation to some degree, particularly for those whose first working from home experience was a forced hand from the pandemic. It can be hard to get used to but virtual co-working can be something that really helps people shake this off. Set up a call with others and hold each other accountable to the tasks you’re working on right now. Have a chat, catch up, share your ideas and introduce a level of accountability that can be difficult when working from home. Schedule them at the start of the week so you can really start the week with a bank and then follow up with each other towards the end of the week, see how you’re getting on and re-enact that Friday feeling with a date in the diary to wind down the week together.

5. Get involved in FB or IG Lives

So many business owners and content creators are embracing the power of video either through Facebook Lives, Instagram Lives or on LinkedIn, hosting regular live video chats to create a connection with their audience through advice and guidance and sometimes just for some light entertainment. It gives a sense of social interaction that many of us feel is missing from our days right now. Get involved by asking questions or sharing similar experiences. Sometimes just seeing someone else’s face on a screen or insight into how they spend their day can really help to boost your productivity or just shift your mindset to a more positive place.

One thing is certain within this whole experience and that’s that community and support are more important than ever and there are still plenty of ways to get your fix. Which of these tips will you try first?