4 Tips to Overcoming Work-from-Home Loneliness

4 Tips to Overcoming Work-from-Home Loneliness

In 2016, there were approximately over 63 million Americans who worked from home. It’s not a new trend to ditch the traditional office and telecommute, but its popularity is on the rise. In fact, some CEO’s such as Sir Richard Branson, have never had a formal office. He works on the go and can make any place an “office.”

Many, like myself, think that working from home is the best way to work. It provides more flexibility, cuts the commute time, and can make for more productive days. I once read a statistic that people who work-from-home are usually more productive because there’s less workplace distractions (uh, tell that to the load of laundry currently staring me in the face).

While working from home has a seemingly never ending list of advantages, no one warned me of a huge disadvantage… loneliness.

Working from home doesn’t provide a lot of face to face contact; at least, not daily. A couple months in, people think it’s the most amazing thing ever. But a couple of YEARS in, some may experience extreme isolation from being home all day every day.

When I moved to Florida 5 years ago, this feeling maximized. Starting fresh in a new-to-me town with no friends and no connections was incredibly difficult in general.I didn’t even know how to go about making new friends; I’ve had most of my friendships since elementary or middle school. Even in college, new people were introduced to me through other friends.

Meeting new people wasn’t high on my priority list, because as an introvert I actually re-charge from being alone. But when you’re sitting at home and realize the only people you’ve seen in 3 weeks are the people you live with, you know it can’t be healthy.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve slowly come out of my hermit crab shell and have found that I since I don’t get my social interaction at work like some do, I needed to get out of the house, expand my network and connect with others…or as I call it, “feeling human again.”

If you’re one of 64 million Americans who work from home, or are even a stay-at-home parent who often feels isolated, try these tips out:

4 Tips to Overcome Work-From-Home Loneliness

Join a Group – Join an adult sports leagues (kickball, anyone?), a fitness groups, go to church, take a series of classes, or even volunteer for an organization. Or, if you already have a solid group of friends, schedule a trip to a theme park or take a day trip. The key is to schedule these group ventures in advance so that you’re held accountable. I’ve personally found my “mom friends” through the PTO at my daughter’s school. We schedule once a month outings to do various things without kids.
Local MeetUps – Business networking groups are great! Often times these group meet monthly (some weekly) PLUS they host numerous events. They get you out of the house, interacting with other like-minded people, and these events can open an array of opportunities for you. If you’re unsure where to start looking, check out your local Chamber of Commerce or go to meetup.com!
Work Outside the House
– If you have a laptop, a phone, or even a notebook and a pen, you can really work from anywhere. Take your work to a coffee shop, a restaurant, a park, or my favorite place…the beach! Changing your scenery can improve your state of mind (plus you won’t be focused on the laundry that’s staring at you in the face to finish).
Ditch the Email– Tone and emotion are the first things to be lost in written communication, not to mention it’s the least personal form of communication. Pick up the phone; even better, video chat! I do these often with clients. It’s nice to “see” someone’s facial expressions or mannerisms while talking to them, not to mention tone of the conversation isn’t lost. Don’t undervalue the importance of a phone or video call, they often times carry more weight and value than an email.

Working from home doesn’t always have to be lonely. Embrace the flexibility working from home provides and get out and do more!

Switch up your view, schedule your outings, and most importantly, step out of your comfort zone.

Adventure on,