How Has Remote Work Impacted Your Friendships?

With remote work gaining popularity due to the pandemic, some employers are worried about weakening relationships between employees. But could it be impacting friendships?

For many adults, the workplace is one of the only places to consistently meet new people. Some coworkers may become friendly, and might even go so far as to socialize together outside of the office. Many deep, meaningful friendships have started in the halls at work.

Remote work threatens to change that. If you only interact with people over an online chat or in a group conference call, there are fewer opportunities to develop relationships.

Employers fear that may lead to a lack of cohesion in work-based teams. That may be the case, but it may also lead to shallow, superficial interpersonal relationships that never have the chance to grow into something deeper.

Studies have shown that the number of people — particularly men — suffering from loneliness and depression is on the rise. If one of the few opportunities for making friends is reduced or even removed, what might that mean for this data?

Of course, this concern may be overblown. People can make real, strong connections with people they mostly interact with online. It is also true that a workplace may not be the best place to look for friendships.

What do you think? Is working remotely leading to weaker connections between people, and possibly fewer friendships? Or should that be irrelevant to making friends?

Related questions: How does your personal life influence your work life? How has remote work changed your workplace culture? What makes a friendship? How do you make friends as an adult?

How Have Your Parents Influenced You?

The parent-child relationship is an important one for most people. Can you think of ways you have been influenced by your parents?

The first relationship that we have is with our mother, followed shortly by our father. For most people, they remain of primary importance throughout our development and into adolescence.

Because of this, the relationship we have with our parents helps to define who we are, what we believe, and often how we think and what we like.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’


Of course, that fact might also lead to problems. There is a reason that many therapy sessions deal with understanding the way we were treated growing up, and how it might impact our behavior as adults. Additionally, many people end up with romantic partners that have behaviors similar to a parent.

Some people have a complicated relationship with their mother and/or their father. Even if you don’t, you can probably trace some of your likes and dislikes, as well as some of your beliefs, to one or both of your parents.

How have your parents influenced you?

Related questions: How are you just like your parents? Why do we like what we like? What makes you you? What is your favorite childhood memory?

Do You Follow The Golden Rule?

The Golden Rule — treat others as you wish to be treated — is a sentiment common in cultures and religions across the world. Do you follow it?

The idea is a simple one, easily stated, and easily understood. And yet, it can be very difficult to practice.

There are many reasons why you might not follow the Golden Rule. They might vary from self-interest, fear, or even kindness.

For instance, you might well think that you want someone to come to your aid if you are in trouble. However, fear might prevent you from helping someone else in a dangerous situation.

In another situation, you might tell a small lie to spare the feelings of someone you love, even if you think you would want the truth in return.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘Are we too busy?’


In our state and national politics, we see the Golden Rule violated frequently. One elected official, for example, may vote against offering aid to another state in a disaster, and yet accepts the helping hand when the disaster befalls them. No doubt you can think of numerous other examples.

There are endless opportunities to treat others the way you wish to be treated. In fact, just about every interaction with someone else is such a chance. It might be face-to-face, online, or from hundreds or thousands of miles away. It might include actions, speech, or even thoughts about someone else.

Can you think of notable examples where you followed the Golden Rule? Are there times when you didn’t?

Related questions: How do you serve others? What expectations do you have of others? How do other people motivate you? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us? Why do we hate?

How Do You Strengthen A Connection With Someone?

If there is someone you would like to bond with, how do you make that happen? What are the hallmarks of a deep and powerful connection?

Human beings are social creatures. As individuals, we crave connection with other humans, or even with other species.

As part of our social lives, we create and maintain relationships with dozens, or even hundreds of people. That might include, but is not limited to: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and pets.

Creating a connection is pretty easy. At a social function, you might strike up a conversation, share a laugh or two, and exchange names.

Strengthening that relationship, however, is a different matter. All relationships need work in order to thrive. The type of work might depend on the person you are dealing with, and the nature of the existing relationship. Getting to know someone you met at a party, for example, will be quite different from the way you build a bond with a sibling.

However, a connection is a connection. Can you think of some ways you can feel closer to someone that you just met, or someone you have fallen out of touch with?

One way to think about it might be to consider what someone else might do to make you feel a close connection. Once you can think of something, doing that thing for others may help. That might be anything form a random text message, to inviting someone over for a homemade meal. Or, perhaps, asking someone to a movie or a play, or playing a board or card game with a group of people.

Each relationship is different, but there may be some commonalities. Can you think of ways to strengthen a connection with someone?

Related questions: What makes a friendship? How do you make friends as an adult? What is your relationship with your pet? How could you show your appreciation for others more?

How Do You Remember Someone Who Has Died?

Death, and dealing with it, is a part of life. When someone you know and like dies, how do you remember them?

The death of a friend or loved one can be traumatic, particularly if that death is unexpected. During the grieving process, there are two primary ways to remember someone.

The first is to remember, or memorialize, soon after the death. Stories might be shared, tears might be shed, and grieving is done communally. In your experience, what are ways that you have publicly celebrated someone’s life?

The second method takes place months and even years after the passing. Remembering what someone was like, after years have gone by, can be difficult. There may be pictures or video to help jog your memory, but even those can be incomplete. And for some people in your life, you may not have any photos or other media saved.

In any case, what can you do to keep that person in your mind? How can you continue to be inspired by them, or be amused, or even just maintain a presence in your life? Is it important?

Related questions: Why are people afraid of death? Does your memory define you? What makes a friendship? Does it matter how long we are remembered?