Working from home has its perks – no more time wasted while commuting, the ability to work from anywhere you want, being able to wear pajamas all day, just to name a few. However, it also comes with its own challenges, and one of the most difficult to tackle is home office loneliness. The very first thing you should know is that you’re not alone. In fact, 20% of remote workers see loneliness as their biggest struggle. These are concerning numbers, as social isolation has a huge impact on mental health and can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. The best way to fight home office loneliness is to make an active effort, and we came up with six ways that will help you do just that.
A Walk a Day…
…Keeps the loneliness away. One of the easiest ways for you to feel part of a community is by going for a walk once or twice a day. Even if it’s just a 10-minute walk around the block, it’s great exercise and you’ll see some new faces or even interact with people you come across.
Make a Habit of Working Outside
One of the biggest perks of working from home is the ability to work anywhere you want. Take advantage of this to change the scenery once in a while. You can go to your favorite coffee shop, the local library, a coworking space – the list goes on. Even though you’ll still be working solo, you’ll be in a space with some atmosphere that makes it a less lonely experience.
Get a Remote Working Buddy
If you’re lucky enough to have friends who also work remotely, schedule a few working sessions with them. Even if you work for different companies, you can get together and work side by side. You probably won’t exchange work ideas, but you can talk about stuff you both enjoy like TV shows, current events, books, video games, etc. On the other hand, you can also try to find like-minded people on LinkedIn and ask them if they would be up for a joint working session. Not only will you do your job with someone else in the room, but it’s also a great way to expand your network.
Get a Pet
Pets are humans’ best friends, and they’re known for offering excellent company. If you have all the required conditions to get a pet, go to the local shelter and bring home a furry friend. All the pet owners at clovio can guarantee that you’ll never feel lonely ever again.
Although not as effective, you can get some home office plants, too. It’s been proven that talking to plants helps them grow, so you can chat to them to fill the silence.
Listen To Music and Podcasts
It’s common for remote workers to overcome loneliness by blasting their favorite songs while performing their tasks. Whether you like heavy metal or bubblegum pop, find a playlist from YouTube or Spotify and let it play while you put in those working hours. You can even listen to your guilty pleasures without the fear of being caught by a coworker.
Some people prefer to listen to podcasts, as it almost sounds like you’re working with someone else in the room. If this is more up your alley, then go to your audio streaming service and find some podcasts about your favorite topics – there’s a podcast for everything, after all. Finally, if you just want some office sounds playing in the background, there’s a popular Spotify album for that too.
Reach Out To Coworkers
Some of your coworkers may also be having a tough time. So, you can kill two birds with one stone by reaching out to them. Not only will you feel better right away, but you’re also helping your colleagues overcome their loneliness. It can be a bit daunting initially, especially with coworkers you don’t know well or when working in companies that don’t encourage employee interaction. Still, the first step is always the hardest. After that, you and your coworker will easily find some shared interests to talk about when feeling lonely.
If you have regular team meetings, take advantage of these to interact with everyone. If these meetings are purely work related, you can ask your manager to save a small slot for everyone to speak about their personal life. For example, at clovio, we always finish each team meeting by discussing the things we did throughout the month and sharing which TV shows, video games, and books we’ve been enjoying.
It’s true that working from home can be lonely. But, if you do everything in your power to overcome it, you’ll notice that it will quickly stop being an issue. The first step is always the hardest to make. But the moment you create a habit of taking measures to overcome loneliness, you’ll happily do these activities without giving it a second thought.