Work connections are important to our well-being, especially when we’re stressed. And now that so many of us are working remotely, whether entirely or partially, these connections are even more important. They build empathy and understanding, and help us feel appreciated, motivated, and more resilient.

An uplifting word or shoutout from a team member can make a tough day feel easier. Swapping sports tips, movie reviews, or book recommendations can boost your energy and help you feel closer as a team. When you’re stuck on a project, a chat with a coworker can be the kickstart that gets you going.

We asked you, our meQuilibrium community, how you stay connected to colleagues at work. As usual, you shared awesome and inspiring tips, ideas, and routines that we can’t wait to try ourselves.

Which of these connection ideas will you try with your team?

Positivity Board

“Finding new and exciting ways to connect with each other in our virtual workspace is always at the forefront of our team conversations. In addition to some practices that are already in place, like our weekly team conference calls and our monthly recognition calls, we’ve established the TakeCare Virtual Positivity Board in our team channel. These are monthly interactive boards that we fill with encouragements, quotes, tips, inspirational stories, and positive vibes. This is where we connect, motivate, and inspire each other. Sometimes on hard days, all it takes is a kind word or a positive thought to clear our minds and remind us that we are not alone, and we can do amazing things.”—Nikki, administrative assistant, Orlando, FL

Monday Motivation

“In 2020, I started sending out Motivational Monday emails. I’ve created channels within our teams where people that align with the Chicago office can take a virtual coffee break, go for a walk, or share a motivational moment. I add to these channels daily in the hopes that it will spark engagement. I have also recently launched a colleague-led community for disabilities called the Able Network, and I hope to foster connections that way as well.”—Erin, executive assistant, Chicago, IL

Nonwork (“Water Cooler”) Check-ins 

“I have a weekly virtual meeting for our team to get together and chat about anything besides work. We have been doing this since the pandemic. Not all of us call in each week—it varies. But it’s just nice to get together and catch up.”—Cindy, senior advisor, Hopkinton, MA

“Early during the pandemic shutdown, my team started scheduling biweekly ‘water cooler’ meetings. Team members join as they are able. We talk about the random stuff going on in our lives, much as we would in the break room. We’ve continued this practice, as we’ve all remained virtual, and it helps our engagement and our sanity.”—Sherry, technical architect, McHenry, IL

Morning Messages 

“My entire team is remote, and my goal is to help them feel as connected as possible. I have a daily ritual of sending a good morning message to my team. That one message sets a good start for the day and helps connect us even though we’re in different states.”—Cybil, regional manager, Atlanta, GA

“Family” Gatherings

“My team has worked together in the same department for at least ten years, so we think of ourselves like a family. We start the day by saying good morning to each other, and those who drink coffee gather in the break room to chat about our nights. We have a coworker who has difficulty walking, so we take turns printing and scanning documents for her. We always check in to see what others are doing for lunch. We either go to the cafeteria together, or one of us will order food and pick it up.”—Theresa, operations senior specialist, Jacksonville, FL 

New Hire Pen Pals

“We recently hired a new team member. Each Monday, we’ve been emailing one new thing about ourselves and have kept it going for a year. It makes work so much better to know things about a coworker besides just how they work.”—Judy, senior administrative and sales support assistant, West Chester, PA