Overcoming Isolation While Working From Home

The number of people choosing or having to telecommute is increasing, thanks to its flexibility, effectiveness and convenience. However, it does come with several drawbacks, for example, the difficulty of avoiding isolation while working remotely which can make telecommuters less motivated and productive. So, keeping yourself from feeling isolated is a required part of your self-care routine!

In the current Covid-19 scenario, many are working remotely. Therefore, isolation is not just a reality for people who used to work from home but it can be for all of us.

Working alone requires a high level of self-reliance since you will not receive the “positive reinforcement” or professional environment you can count on while working at an office. Therefore, it is necessary to recreate that atmosphere. Rather than emailing your co-workers, video chat with them or call them. It makes you seem more approachable, dedicated and memorable. It is also the best substitute for human contact which drastically reduces negative feelings related to remoteness. If you are a manager or a leader, building up company morale through after-work video gatherings for pizza parties, happy hours or games can build up team spirit and increase cohesion. You need to lean on your Company’s Culture. Working from home does not mean that you are a separate individual to the office employees – and you can still cultivate the office culture through working at home.

Additionally, certain tasks can be monotonous especially without outside stimulation. Coupling this with healthy hobbies can prevent burnout and dullness. You can have hobbies that you partake in before, during and/or after work. Diary writing or yoga before work can be especially vital as it improves your concentration and creative flow. This will help you get relaxed yet focused and open-minded. If your online meetings/conferences get you anxious or bored, you can sharpen your attention through knitting, drawing, etc. Activities such as yoga, exercising or Pilates after a long day of work has proven to help with depression and insomnia, which you can be prone to while working from home.

Another step is to change your scenery. After spending many hours working, take a walk around your garden or even to your kitchen! Isolation can creep up on you especially when you have been taking part in an activity for long hours without changes and have not had social interaction during the whole tenure. In such cases, a phenomenon called cognitive association can occur where the mind assimilates work with loneliness. To avoid this, refrain from spending long hours in one position and get some fresh air every now and then.

Remote working can teach you many things such as independence and adaptability. However, having positive growth requires us to tackle the negatives such as avoiding isolation while working remotely. Thankfully, through these simple steps you can tackle this and improve your well-being during these tough times without it taking its toll on you

References

  1. The Untold Side Of Remote Working : Isolation And Lack Of Career Progression, Forbes, December 26, 2019 
  2. Extreme Loneliness Or The Perfect Balance? How To Work From Home And Stay Healthy, Theguardian.com, March 25, 2019