How to stay connected and combat loneliness while working from home
The volume of remote workers soared in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home might be more efficient but can be isolating. For those who live alone, this could mean going days without speaking with anyone. When left unaddressed, feelings of isolation can become overwhelming and can lead to burnout.
Here are a few useful tips for remote workers:
Start your day with a routine. Having a morning routine provides structure. Rather than going straight from bed to a screen, try easing into the day. It can be as simple as starting the day by drinking a glass of water, followed by a few minutes of journaling or reading. If you function better with movement in the morning, choose an activity you enjoy and get outside if you can.
Create your own social community. If your organization doesn't have regularly scheduled check-ins, arrange your own call with colleagues. Share life news and thoughts on how to make each day better than the last. Re-create the connected feeling you once had from catching up with coworkers in person.
Get outside. If the weather permits, try to work for an hour a day on your deck, porch or even a folding chair in your yard. A change of scenery can get your creative juices flowing while giving your body some much needed vitamin D. If you want to incorporate movement into your outside time, try taking your next meeting, webinar or podcast along for a light walk.
Move your body. Virtual lunchtime workouts are popular. Not having to get to and from a gym saves a lot of time and opens options for getting in a great workout. Try a new bodyweight workout or get some fresh air by going for a walk or run outdoors.
Refuel. With more people using their lunch break to exercise, squeezing in both movement and a meal to refuel before returning to work can be a challenge. Weekend meal-prep or even packing lunch the night before works just as well when you work from home as when you're in an office.
Be intentional and disciplined. At the end of your workday, map out the following day, keep your calendar full (even if you block it with time to work), and set goals every day to push yourself.
Working from home doesn't have to be lonesome. A few positive habits can help you feel more connected and reduce your risk of burnout.