Overcoming isolation while remote working

By Betty Brown

Along with all the perks that come with working remotely, such as no more time spent commuting, and being in your own space surrounded by home comforts, there is also a side to home working which can feel very isolating. When spending extended hours alone day after day, it’s only natural to feel lonely and crave some face-to-face social interaction.

Here are our top tips for overcoming feelings of isolation when working in a remote role.




Take regular breaks

When we are focused at our desks, hours soon pass and before you realise it, you’ve spent all day working solidly and haven’t spoken to anyone. Unlike a traditional office where coworkers often chat at the coffee station, share anecdotes or make small talk, working remotely can mean you lose those little mental breaks which refill the social elements of your wellbeing.

It’s important to remember that we are humans, not robots. As such, everyone needs a little social interaction each day to maintain a good state of mind. Whether it’s via your personal relationships or catch-ups with coworkers, make sure you spend some of your day socialising and give yourself permission to take regular breaks in order to do so.

Research actually suggests that taking frequent breaks can boost productivity and effectiveness, so by pausing to reconnect you’ll be doing your workload a favour too. This will also help you to reduce stress and anxiety, which can come alongside feelings of isolation.

Reach out

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your coworkers for a short chat, support and water-cooler talk at some point in your working day. It can be a bit of a learning curve to get used to reaching out to people virtually for less than work-related topics, but doing so can really help form relationships within your team. Most remote workplaces have online chat tools for instant messaging between coworkers and some teams have scheduled catch-ups, and you should feel welcome to reach out and pause for a quick chat to help support you in times of loneliness.

Many people also find they enjoy meeting a friend in person over their lunch break, which can work very well for friends who also work from home. Even short periods of face-to-face interaction can dramatically boost our happiness and wellbeing.

Get a pet

Especially if you live alone and work from home, don’t underestimate the power of keeping a pet. Having a furry friend to keep you company whilst you work can help you feel less lonely, and pets such as dogs will give you a reason to take that break and go for a walk.

Spending some time outside each day is known to boost mental health and will in turn make you more efficient and motivated when at your desk. Even if you take a short walk over lunch, stepping outside gives you the opportunity to be surrounded by people and feel less isolated.

Don’t struggle in silence

The most important part of overcoming feelings of isolation is not to ignore them. Sometimes when we feel down, we can further isolate ourselves rather than reaching out for support. Be sure to make a conscious effort to speak to someone at least once a day about something other than work-related topics to ensure you maintain a positive attitude and state of mind.

Author Bio

Betty Brown is a Digital Content and Media Researcher

The post Overcoming isolation while remote working appeared first on Defying Mental Illness.

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