Most of us have become accustomed to commuting to a work site surrounded by co-workers. Remote work is something new to most workers. Yet, we are fundamentally social beings. So extended remote work isolation has affected many workers if we’re working at home for an extended period. We can’t help feeling isolated. Isolation blues have become common, and it’s not something to simply ignore.
Cures for Remote Work Isolation
As you spend long hours and work from home, you need to take care of your mental health.
As much as I was happy to “get away” from my officemates,
I realized that I relied on colleagues to keep my mental health in check. Panion.com
Here are 7 tips to beat remote work isolation blues:
1. Step Outside Periodically
Don’t stay cooped up inside your home. Step outside to get some fresh air and much-needed sunlight. If you have a garden, that’s great. If not, you can practice social distancing and other safety measures so you can take a walk at a local park or around your neighborhood. It’s even better if your location is surrounded by greenery and nature views, which can help relieve stress and loneliness.
2. Reconnect With Co-Workers
While staying at home, it’s a good time to catch up with friends from work or your boss. Reconnect with those you haven’t seen for a long time. While you may not be able to invite them for a cup of coffee face to face, a lot of employees are setting virtual meetups to chat with peers outside the normal work day. If you can do Zoom calls for work meetings, why not try it to keep in touch with team members to socialize? It can be more fun than you expect.
What’s good about being online these days is that you can reach associates from miles away that you haven’t talked to for a while. Many of them are also most likely at home and craving social connections.
3. Maintain a Routine
Being out of the workplace and staying at home may have thrown you off your routine. To beat remote work isolation blues, you should create a new routine and stick to it. That will help retain some sense of normalcy. Get up at the same time in the morning, preferably the same time that you woke up for work before the pandemic.
Plan your day and eat your meals on time. If you live with your family, having a routine helps everyone to know what’s going on.
4. Move, Move, Move
Don’t forget to get your body moving. Be physically active as much as you can. Exercise will give you an energy boost and improve your mood. That will help beat isolation and maintain your productivity.
For example, a neighbor of mine walks her dog several times per day for 10-minutes. She does it at the same times each day. That keeps her moving and maintains her routine. Even doing house chores is good while on work conference calls.. If you’re up to it, you can also join online fitness classes. You could also walk around your local area early in the morning before work begins.
5. Write a Journal or Letter
Get your thoughts out by journaling. You can journal about the things you’re grateful for, which will bring optimism and good vibes. When you focus on the good things that happen in your life, it boosts your mood and makes you less isolated.
Letter writing has also been revived during the pandemic. Why not send your prospects, customers or other employees a postcard to let them know that you’re thinking about them? Handwritten letters and postcards help promote deeper relationships.
6. Learn Something New
Sometimes you feel neglected when you’re bored. Find something to do to keep your mind busy. Learn a new skill or do a pursuit you’ve always wanted to do. Try to attend webinars, read blogs, or take an online course to boost your work skills.
When you’re doing something that you enjoy, you don’t notice how slow the time goes by, and you don’t have time to dwell on depressing thoughts.
7. Get Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep (or not enough) affects your mood, so it’s important to have a healthy bedtime routine. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you don’t feel rested. You’ll wake up feeling more tired, and it makes you more vulnerable to stress or even illness. Sleep heals your body and keeps your mental well-being in shape.
Spending time working virtual doesn’t have to be dull and boring. Don’t let remote work isolation beat you. Instead, make conscious efforts to focus on bringing positivity to your situation. Use the time to reconnect with your friends, learn something new, and get your body physically active. Stick to a routine, and know that a feeling of isolation is only temporary. The situation will certainly improve or you will become accustomed to this new paradigm, so hang in there.