This year 2020, we’re no longer surprised why many people are considering working from home. There are millions of people who dream of not being chained to an office desk, yearning to enjoy the freedom that comes from remote work. But while working from home has plenty of perks and benefits, there is one hidden danger that needs to be addressed, and that’s the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
According to a survey, loneliness is one of the biggest challenges faced by remote workers, with more than 40% of respondents saying they always felt lonely and had a high need for social connection.
The number of people who prefer to work from home has dramatically increased over the years, but this physical separation from a traditional work setting has led to more individuals feeling isolated from friends at work, and that they’re less loyal to the company they’re working for. Left unaddressed, it can lead to serious negative consequences on one’s health, performance, and productivity.
If you’re worried about the isolation of remote working, now is the time to set your mind at ease. Trust me, it’s not such a lonely life at all. Below are 5 useful tips for dealing with the isolation while working from home – no loneliness included!
Tip #1: Consider a change of scenery.
One problem with remote working is the monotony of spending long hours indoors. But this comes with a few quick and easy fixes.
- Work outdoors from time-to-time.
- Go out for a walk during breaks.
- Work at a cafe or the nearest library at least once or twice a week.
- Look for shared workspaces in your area.
The simple pleasure of coming into contact with other people is a great place to start if you’ve become lonely. While these aren’t necessarily meaningful interactions, it makes things easier for you to get accustomed to having a social life outside of the home.
Tip #2: Take advantage of technology.
Not able to meet your coworkers face-to-face? No problem.
There are all sorts of technology you can use to bridge the isolation gap. With video meeting tools like eyeson, you can conduct video meetings in the comfort of your own home office. You only need to have a laptop/PC with a webcam or you can simply use a smartphone. Once you get started, you can meet one-on-one or start a group video meeting with coworkers in just a matter of seconds.
The great thing about this kind of meeting is that it promotes better collaboration, team performance, and cohesiveness. You can also use eyeson to host virtual meetings or parties to connect with family and friends.
Tip #3: Make after-work plans.
If you’re feeling lonelier than usual or don’t get to spend much time interacting with coworkers, try making plans with family, friends, or neighbors. This way, you can feel more like a part of a group or community, and prompt you to stop working at the end of a busy workday so you don’t get burnt out.
In a home office, it may be more difficult to draw a line between personal and work hours, but making plans for after-work activities will get you off the computer and out of the house.
Tip #4: Find a hobby you love.
If you’re still not involved in any extracurricular activity, now couldn’t be a more perfect time to explore and discover passions.
Love reading books? Hit the nearest library or bookstore, or join a local book club. If you don’t feel like leaving home, you can always join an online book club – or start one yourself!
Got a passion for fitness? Sign up for a gym membership or join a yoga class. Again, if you’re a home buddy, there are thousands of apps and subscription services that give you access to on-demand (even live) workouts and fitness classes.
Whatever your passion, there will always be a club or service that will let you connect with other people, and fulfill your desire for social interaction.
Tip #5: Maintain a happy and healthy life.
Keep in mind that isolation and loneliness can harm your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that the effects are comparable to those of smoking and obesity. As a remote worker, it can leave you depressed, less flexible, and ultimately less productive.
Taking these into account, it’s always important to find the things that make you happy. And then, prioritize them.
When not working, make sure to spend time on a hobby, discover new and interesting activities, even try volunteering. These will allow you to spend time with like-minded individuals, making it easy to have meaningful social connections. They’re also a great way to improve your mental and physical health.
As a remote worker, you have the power to decide your schedule and priorities. But remember, don’t downplay the dangers of social isolation. Build a healthy work-life balance – one that’s full of meaningful relationships and experiences. Try any of the tips above and see if you feel better. Enjoy!
About the writer: Carol Duke is a professional blogger and freelance writer. In addition to creating inspiring and informative blog content for her clients, she also writes for IHateWritingEssays, a niche website related to academic writing. When not in front of the computer, you’ll likely find Carol watching comedy movies, reading or taking her dogs out for a walk. Follow Carol on Twitter.