4 Ways to Fight the Loneliness of Working From Home
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Working from home is convenient and comfortable, but it can also get a little lonely when you’re by yourself day in and day out. More and more people have adapted to working from home over the last years. Recent studies found that loneliness is the biggest challenge remote workers are facing. Feeling isolated and alone can produce serious negative consequences on your emotional health, your productivity, and team performance. For many, it's hard to talk about this topic or feel ashamed. Read here how to prevent and overcome remote work and work from home loneliness.
How to prevent and overcome loneliness
1) Work one day outside your home
A co-working space, a coffee shop, a local library, or a friend's place could be a great solution to fighting feelings of isolation. If you have a friend who also works remotely, bring them along with you so you can work together. Your working from home setup could be ergonomically better but don't forget that you can take a laptop riser, external keyboard, and mouse everywhere. Even if you aren't speaking to many of the other people, you might find that the simple act of getting out of the house helps you feel like you're a part of something. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay in your room the whole time.
2) Make plans after work when you're feeling isolated.
Make plans with friends or family members during the week when you're feeling lonelier than usual. Remember that there are fewer happier days than others and this is also okay. When you have plans after work, this forces you to stop working at the end of your workday to not become overworked or burnt out.
3) Take advantage of your flexible schedule during the day
Be kind to yourself and treat yourself sometimes. Take advantage of the flexibility your schedule allows to build in time for extra friends or family. Most people work longer hours when they are working from home. Sometimes it's nice to close your laptop 30 minutes earlier and go out of the house.
4) Hey Google, play Spotify
Studies have shown that music has a positive effect on efficiency, creativity, and happiness. Being alone with your own thoughts can be annoying and things could go south really fast. Create your own Spotify plays list or have a look below for some inspiration.
We found some great playlists on Spotify:
- Monday Motivation
- Instrumental Pop Cover
- Feel Good Friday
Look out at each other!
Remember to pay attention to your colleagues. Spotting signals from colleagues are watching for changes in work-related behavior such as anger, irritation, or an increase in sick days. Is someone quieter and contributing less than usual? Video conferencing allows us to see someone's non-verbal body language without being caught in person, so check in with each other while you're online with them. Are they less productive or do they make stupid mistakes and fail to meet deadlines, which is out of the question? character? If they confide in you, make it clear that everything they tell you is in confidence and that you are there to support them. Ask how they are doing and check in with each other. Be compassionate: assess their experience, acknowledge their suffering, and make a plan to reduce their loneliness.
How can Fit for Work help?
To learn more about setting up or managing an ergonomics program that supports staff working from home or in the office or support with staying legally compliant, you can reach out to Fit for Work. For more information on our Ergonomics Self-Assessment and Education Tool, contact us.