Woman sitting on a rail in a city, smiling and texting her friends to stay in touch.
Image: RossHelen/Shutterstock

How to stay in touch when you relocate for work

11 Jun 2018

Relocating for work can be an exciting chance to meet new people, but it can also be tough to stay in touch with friends and family back home.

Anyone who has ever moved abroad for an extended period of time or has had a friend move away will know how difficult it can be to stay in touch.

You’re no longer on each other’s radar as much and it’s much more difficult to make plans to see each other if it involves a plane ticket.

All of that is hard enough without factoring in the extra toll that different time zones can take. Lining up times when you’re both free to talk is just another battle.

So, when you’re relocating for work and plan to be gone for a very long period of time – or perhaps you’re making a permanent move – it’s natural to be concerned about staying in touch with all your friends as well as your family and anyone else you might be used to talking to.

Set up a standing appointment

It can be hard to factor in a good time to call regularly on the fly, especially when you’re not sure what your counterparts back home are up to.

Set up a regular appointment, be it weekly, fortnightly or monthly, and consider it an appointment you should both keep. If something comes up, reschedule instead of simply cancelling.

Use social media to your advantage

This is definitely not the only method you should use to ‘stay in touch’. However, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great ways to stay abreast of what your friends and family are up to.

Keeping track of your friends and family on social media will help you stay in the know so that the next time you’re talking to them, you can skip the part where you have to catch up from scratch.

Send emails and voice notes

If you are in completely different time zones, it can be difficult to nail down a good time for a live conversation. However, there are other methods of staggered communication that could work.

Sending emails gives you the opportunity to be as detailed as you want, giving the other side a chance to read through it and reply at their leisure. If you’re more of a chatterbox, voice notes through WhatsApp or another medium can work, too.

Play multiplayer games

Whether or not this is something you currently do with friends or family, it can be a good way to keep them at the forefront of your mind.

There are countless multiplayer mobile games that simply involve taking turns at each other’s leisure, and, while it might not exactly keep you up to date about what’s going on in each other’s lives, it will remind you to check in more often.

Plan trips when possible

Depending on how far away you are, it might not be easy to make lots of trip plans.

However, even if you only have one plan to come home for a visit in the next six months, make sure you set aside time to see those you want to.

Go old-school

Taking the email trick to a whole new level, why not use the long distance as an opportunity to reignite the lost art of letter writing?

While it takes a little extra effort, it can be so far removed from your usual forms of communication, it may actually be a fun commitment and you can even expand from letters to care packages.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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