7 Ways to Prevent and Overcome Isolation in Remote Work
Use active communication tools
Use video calls to communicate with your team. Having a real conversation and seeing your teammates as you discuss different topics can help you feel more engaged. Moreover, this is a great way to increase the feeling of belonging among team members. Using video conferences, online meetings and chats will be way more effective than e-mails. Live communication even via text can increase the social bond and engagement.
2. Work outside your home
Working from home can be emotionally tiring. When you rest and work in the same space the lines between your personal and professional lives get blurred. This leads to feeling isolated and lonely. Even if you do not live alone, working from home can feel isolating. This is why working outside your home at least once a week could help you with overcoming isolation in remote work.
As an alternative to your home, you could pop into the office once in a while. This will be helpful for catching up with your colleagues and strengthening your feeling of belonging to the company. You could also try going to a co-working space where you can socialize with different people that share your interests. Another option could be to go to one of those quiet cafes that offer good wi-fi and strong coffe. It is important to remember that you have other options besides your home.
3. Join Informal Work Groups
Many companies have employee clubs and teams that engage different activities. For example, you could join a board game or cycling club. This way you can have informal meetings with your colleagues. Joining informal clubs will not on ly help you beat the social isolation but bring you closer to your colleagues. When working remotely, there are communication barriers among people which cause conflicting situations. Relaxing with your co-workers will make your work more pleasant and easier.
4. Plan Activities Outside of Your Home
Create a schedule that makes you get out of your workspace at least once a day. Example of this can be starting your day with jogging or going to a pub after work with friends. Just remember to change the location and get outside of your usual working space. Staying in the same room for most of the day can be very isolating. Even if you are not feeling out of it, drag yourself out of home. Be sure, this will help you beat the isolation in remote work.
5. Keep in Touch with Your Friends and Family Daily
Remote work blurs the line between your private and work life. Sometimes it may feel like you are never not at work. This is an overwhelming feeling that will increase the feeling of isolation. So, it is important to talk to people who are not work-related. Having daily chats with your friends and family members will help you separate your personal life from work. Having a talk about non-work-related topics can be very helpful when dealing with remote work. Additionally, small chats will help you take much needed break from your work.
6. Schedule Break Activities
When working from home it can be harder to take breaks and relax. Even when you take a small break it may not help you recharge and truly rest. This happens because you are in the same space and it is hard to switch to relax mode. So, it is more efficient if you come up with specific recharge or unplug activities. These activities should help you take your mind off work and relax. Furthermore, these activities can be productive as well. Break activities might include
- Playing an instrument
- Trying a new recipe for lunch/dinner
- Taking a walk
7. Set Clear Boundaries
Last but certainly not the least for beating isolation in remote work is setting the clear boundaries. Do not work overtime, do not take calls and answer e-mails after working hours or during the weekend. These simple but crucial habits will help set clear boundaries and keep healthy work-life balance. As a result you will have more time for yourself. You could use this time to take care of your mental health and spend time with your loved ones.
What are the Downsides of Remote Work?
According to recent survey, more than 70% of employees in UK want to work remotely at least 2 days a week. This clearly shows that working remotely will become even more common and accessible to more professionals. However, before you decide how to work: in office, hybrid or fully remotely it is good to understand the downsides of remote working. Knowing its disadvantages will help you beat isolation in remote work.
- Blurred lines between home and work
- Inability to disconnect from the work
- Social isolation and loneliness
- Asynchronous communication
- Difficulties in communicating with new hires
- Concentration issues
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