7 Tips for Overcoming Loneliness When Working Remotely
In recent times, the work from home (WFH) setup has become increasingly popular. However, it has become more apparent during the COVID-19 crisis. This trend was due to the pandemic restrictions such as stay-at-home orders, quarantines, and social distancing. Almost all companies and organizations have declared a mandatory WFH policy since the onset of the global health crisis.
If anything, the WFH setup comes with a handful of benefits. These include no commuting or driving, savings on money, and having more time for personal endeavors like fitness and family. Also, this setup gives employees more job satisfaction and a boost in their productivity. Lastly, it helps keep the environment clean.
But on the other side of the spectrum, the WFH setup has potential drawbacks for some employees. First off, some can’t focus and concentrate working from home due to several distractions. Also, they have fewer physical activities leading to a sedentary lifestyle which can be detrimental to their health. Lastly, and most alarmingly, some employees living and working alone feel isolated and lonely.
So while working from home, how do you cope with this feeling of sadness? Fret not, as we’ve rounded up some valuable tips for you. That said, here’s how to overcome loneliness when working remotely:
The Rise of Remote Work
Remote work has been around in recent years. It is what it is — individuals working in a remote location. Off-site business employees and freelancers have been working in the comfort of their homes, co-working spaces, coffee shops, and even hotels.
Unfortunately, many individuals tend to use terminologies interchangeably. Remote work is a broad term; WFH falls under remote work. It is a sub-category referring to employees who prefer to work in the comfort of their homes.
Another category is hybrid work, which has become increasingly popular during this pandemic. As we’re gradually going back to normal, companies and organizations ask their employees to go to the office on certain days and work from home on some days. In fact, it is the most preferred work option for most businesses.
What Do Workers Think?
When asked if they like to go back to the office, most employees prefer to work remotely. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Virtual Vocations confirmed this. They received over 500 responses from individuals who defined 100% remote jobs and preferred to have a remote career.
Sixty-eight percent believed that 100% remote doesn’t necessarily mean no site appearance. As long as those appearances are limited to occasional meetings or travel, they’re still considered remote work. Also, their reasons for opting for a remote career include no commuting, being productive at home, and promoting personal health and well-being.
It’s inappropriate, however, to dismiss those who are feeling sad and alone while working from home. So that they can also make the most of their WFH setup and enjoy its benefits, they must learn how to overcome their loneliness. Read below to learn more.
WFH Setup: How to Overcome Loneliness
If there’s one reason some employees want to go back to the office, it’s because of the lingering loneliness. But if they will address this challenge, they will most likely choose to work remotely for good.
Paul Moody, the Chief Editor and Founder of Pro Mover Reviews suggested the idea of ‘moving.’ He said that “If you want to stay happy with your remote work, move. Don’t confine yourself at home. Travel to places. Stay in another place for a month or so..”
That said, here are some practical tips on overcoming loneliness while working from home:
1. Work remotely (not just at home)
As mentioned above, you shouldn’t just work from home. Take advantage of the idea that you’re working remotely. You can go to a nearby coffee shop or look for a shared space. You can also travel to another location and rent a place to stay for weeks, months, or even a year.
Tim White, the Founder of Milepro, said that traveling is perfect for all remote workers. “Most employees tend to delay their travels because of work. But now is the right time to tick off your travel list as a remote worker. That’s why we help travelers fulfill their dreams by providing them with the latest promotions, deals, and offers. We even provide travel guides and tips.”
2. Reach out to your colleagues proactively
When it comes to dealing with loneliness, communication is the key. Because you’re working from home, you should already alienate yourself from your colleagues. The best thing to do is to reach out to them proactively and communicate with them regularly.
Thanks to digital tools and communication technologies, you can interact with your workmates virtually while working from home. A perfect example is Slack which is best for virtual office interaction. Even Zoom has become all the rage during this pandemic.
3. Draw the line between your personal and professional life
Another crucial consideration is drawing the line between your personal and professional life. Unfortunately, some individuals feel that their lives revolve around work. That is because they mix their personal and professional life.
If you’re working from home, create a work schedule and strictly follow this. Once done with your shift, have time for yourself and your family. Also, be sure to have plans and activities after work. That way, you won’t feel your life is all about work which can be dull and boring.
4. Focus on your work goals
When working from home, it’s crucial to focus on your goals as an employee. If you have something to achieve, working will be just a breeze. You’ll do what it takes to meet your goals in time. You won’t only become productive, but you’ll also become competitive as an achiever.
But if you don’t have goals, work can become tedious or monotonous. It can lead you to become lonely, isolated, and unfulfilled.
5. Don’t forget to take your breaks
Another vital part of the overall WFH equation is taking breaks, which is essential for productivity. Unfortunately, some employees keep working and working until the end of their shift. Others do nothing by taking breaks the entire time.
The best course of action is to set your breaks as part of your working hours. Make sure to have two 15-min bio-breaks and one lunch break. You’ll be surprised at how ready and productive you’ll become after these breaks.
6. Remind yourself about the WFH perks
Finally, reminding yourself about the WFH perks can make a difference in your life. Think about the idea of waking up early, commuting, spending on office attire, having no time for fitness, and going home late. Also, consider the benefits of working remotely, such as those mentioned above. In the end, you’ll be more grateful and happy knowing that you’re working from home.
Taking Advantage of Your WFH Setup
Working from home proves beneficial to most employees. However, those who feel isolated and lonely must do what it takes to rise above their situations.
Whether you’re an employee or freelancer, consider the valuable tips recommended above, from working remotely to focusing on work goals to reminding oneself about the WFH perks.
As the WFH setup is here to stay, capitalize on its momentum. Who knows? As the pandemic has changed the business landscape, it might be the future. In fact, WFH is indeed happening — and looks very promising!