Working at home has its advantages. There’s no commute, and you don’t have to invest in expensive office clothing. You can also decide what hours to work, and even labor late into the night if you’re a night owl.
Working at home has a few disadvantages too. It’s not getting up any time you want, moseying into your home office in your pajamas, and leisurely starting the workday. One issue that bothers some people is the sense of isolation.
Unless you are a true introvert, you will ultimately miss the camaraderie of working with people and sharing ideas. Being isolated and having no one to share ideas with takes getting used to. But there are some ways to feel less isolated when you work at home. Let’s look at some.
Attend a Conference
One of the best ways to hook up with people in your field of work and get new ideas is to attend a conference. Conferences are a fantastic way for to get new ideas, connect with others, and keep up with trends. Conferences are also an ideal way to network, meet new people, and build relationships that will last long after the conference is over. If you can’t attend a conference in person, look for an online conference in your area of expertise. Don’t forget to take notes. Speakers will share valuable insights and resources you can tap into once you get home.
Join a Working at Home Facebook Group
Joining a Facebook group or forum for people working at home will help you stay motivated, work through problems common to others who work at home and stay accountable. It’s a chance to share your goals and issues you encounter daily with remote working. Maybe another person has a solution for how you can work from home and limit distractions, or for another problem you’re facing. Working at home has challenges, and you’ll get a different perspective on problems when you join a group or forum. Plus, it’s reassuring to know that you have a group that listens, shares experiences, and answers questions.
Schedule an In-Person Meeting with Colleagues
Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean you can’t meet up with your colleagues. Schedule a breakfast or lunch meeting every few weeks where you can share ideas and iron out issues. When you share a meal with your colleagues, you can maintain close ties, get questions answered, and resolve problems.
Work on a Joint Project with Someone
Even if you work at home, you can still do joint ventures and projects with others who work at home. This works well if you’re an independent contractor too. You could work with someone who freelances in an area that compliments or doesn’t compete with what you do.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer, form an alliance with a photographer or graphic designer. If a writing client needs photographs to go with your writing or design work, you can refer them to your partner. In turn, they’ll refer clients who need writing services to you.
Tap Into the Power of Video Conferencing
Video conferencing connects you and your computer with the rest of the world. Video conferencing allows you to connect with your colleagues without leaving your home or office, or to have a quick impromptu meeting with anyone within your organization. You can also get instant help and feedback if you have a problem. With today’s conferencing software, you can even share your screen with others when you get stuck. You can use a video conference to connect with someone in real time if you have an issue or simply need to talk.
Get Out in Nature Once a Day
Take a break from work and take a walk outdoors in nature at least once per day. Walking is a source of release and a way to “reboot” your brain. Studies show walking in green spaces, like a park or a forest trail, reduces rumination and worry. So, it’s an excellent stress reliever, something you still have to deal with even when you work at home.
Adopt a Pet
People who work at home discover that having a pet around provides companionship, stress relief, and reduces feelings of loneliness. Dogs are more active than cats, so they’ll require exercise, but it’s also a way to ensure you stay active. If you want a quiet companion that will stay by your side as you work, a cat might be a better option. Either way, you’ll feel less isolated with a cat or dog dozing by your workspace.
The Bottom Line of Working at Home
Give these tips a try, and you won’t feel so alone or isolated. You’ll also learn new things and become better at what you do. Even when you work at home, you can still stay connected with others and share ideas. Working from home provides unique challenges but also opportunities. By staying connected, you’ll enjoy the perks of working at home without the sense of isolation.
- Galanti T, Guidetti G, Mazzei E, Zappalà S, Toscano F. Work From Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Impact on Employees’ Remote Work Productivity, Engagement, and Stress. J Occup Environ Med. 2021 Jul 1;63(7):e426-e432. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002236. PMID: 33883531; PMCID: PMC8247534.
- “Understanding the Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health.” 08 Dec. 2020.
- “Still working from home? 7 in 10 remote workers feeling ….” 13 Oct. 2021.