It’s national #WorkLifeWeek, so a perfect time to read this article by Coco Khan in last week’s Guardian.  She advises making time for some non-work conversation, whether by video, phone, Whatsapp or other means. 

 It is so important for our mental health to have positive connections with others and that includes work colleagues, but it’s difficult if you are working from home or socially distancing on site. 

Getting to know people on a personal level develops #trust and aids #wellbeing, so finding virtual alternatives to the coffee machine chat are important – and making time to talk about personal things, not just the tasks.

Here are a few tips – not rocket science, but sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference:

  • Ask questions about what your colleagues have been doing outside work
  • Build trust by revealing something about yourself
  • Share how you are feeling about things
  • Find something to laugh about
  • Share an activity – a quiz, a photo from the weekend, a list of favourite walks
  • Have a regular “tea at three” session that people can drop into
  • Make it fun – share pictures of yourselves as teenagers, play “two truths, one lie”, wear a hat…….

Get workmates involved by asking people to take turns (if they want to) in coming up with an idea for the next time you make time to talk.