When I left my day job and moved to a new city in a new country, I was so thrilled about working from home. As my own boss, I could work on the things I liked as per my convenience. As an introvert, I feel that I easily get tired of socializing. I feel refreshed when I am alone and enjoy being alone. But within short months of working from home, I realized how isolating and lonely it could get. I realize that even introverts need social interaction maybe not as much as an extrovert, but it is important to feel mentally sane.
Acknowledging the problem is the first step in dealing with it. You have to be vocal to others and yourself that there is a need for human interaction. Having said that you should know that no one can really help you with it and you have to take responsibility for yourself. If you feel there is a problem, you have to voice it to your virtual boss or yourself if you're working for yourself and come up with some solutions which you can then work out with your boss.
As more and more of us are opting to work from home, either working for ourselves or working for others, this new form of stress is bound to affect each one of us at some point. Here are some of the ways I was able to overcome the loneliness that comes from working from home:
While it's easy and comfortable to work in your sweatpants all day long, it's important to have a scheduled when you're working from home. It should involve your work (of course), your household chores, breaks, time for yourself, and human interaction. Yes, that's right. Make time for people, plan to catch up with friends. And if you are in a new place like me where you know no one, go to events and seminars where you can meet like-minded people and make new friends.
2. Change the scenery:
Work from outside your house at least once a week if not more. It can be a co-working space or simply a coffee shop or library or even a park. This will allow you to be in the company of others without having to be socially active.
3. Virtual catch-up sessions:
If you are a part of the virtual team, schedule group chats to catch up with your team members. If you are working for yourself and have no other team members, join a mastermind group, or simply have a virtual meet-up with your industry friends. This will allow you to feel connected, know what is happening in your industry or your company, and give you that human interaction that you are craving.
4. Device free time:
Make sure you keep some time in your schedule device free, and the best way to do this is by making time for exercise. There is enough research out there telling us how exercising affects our mood so make sure you take walks or do some form of exercise. You can even join group exercising classes which will allow you to meet new people and be in the company of others.
5. Meet ups:
Look for meet-ups in your area. You'll find a whole bunch of meetups on different topics that might interest you. And in case if you are not able to find one that suits you don't be shy to propose one yourself. Show your leadership quality there and plan a meet-up.
So, there you go, five ways that you can overcome the loneliness that comes with working from home.
I would love to hear from you what are some of your ways of overcoming loneliness while working from home. So, leave me a comment below and let's get talking.