Most people who decide to work from home seek the kind of autonomy, freedom and flexibility not offered in a traditional workplace. But for those of us who are social butterfly’s, there can be a downside to the remote workplace: loneliness.
We know remote work allows people the flexibility to work on their terms and not be tied to an office cubicle. And having a remote job can benefit people from many different walks of life: parents, carers, military spouses, travelers, trailing spouses, and many others who crave for location independence. But often when we hear from people who are new to working remotely, one of the most common struggles they share is how lonely it can be.
Even if you’re not the social butterfly in the office, you can still miss not having people around you each day.
The good news is, you’re not alone and there are various ways to overcome the loneliness bug. Here are our tips from seasoned remote workers on the best ways to beat loneliness when you work remotely.
In a traditional work setting you usually have your colleagues, managers, clients or other stakeholders you see and network with every day. When you work remotely it’s just as important to stay connected, but the way you do that might look a little different. For remote employees, your company will probably have team software that allows you to socialise and chat in real time with colleagues all over the world. And whether you’re a work-from-home employee, freelancer or contractor, there are hundreds of online platforms and social media groups to join so you can stay in touch with fellow remote workers.
The first thing new remote workers notice is the silence. But you can emulate that old office buzz in a more pleasant way with your choice of music. And there’s no one to argue over the playlist!
It’s important not to forget the friends, family and hobbies you have in the ‘real world.’ Getting caught up in your work is all too easy when you technically live at work, so schedule in time each week to get out and about.
When the morning rush hour is a distant memory and your office is just a few steps away from your bed, it’s easy to slip into bad habits. Your favourite PJ’s might be comfy, but lounging around the house all day will put you in a lazy state of mind, make it hard to focus, and you’ll be more likely to feel bored and lonely. Set yourself a routine that works for you, remembering to include time for work, meal breaks, rest breaks and personal commitments, as well as socialising and being active every day. Then get up, get dressed, and get to work.
Make The Most Of It
Ultimately, a change from a traditional workplace to a virtual workplace also calls for a change of mindset. Embrace your new-found freedom and flexibility, and enjoy the quiet. No more noisy interruptions or time-wasting small talk, just you, taking control of your career, and creating true work-life balance.