Tackling Loneliness While Working from Home

Like everyone else, I jumped on the work-from-home bandwagon when the pandemic came knocking. The idea was exciting, and at the start, I embraced this newfound freedom. No more commuting, more time with family, and the chance to work in my pajamas! But as months dragged on, I began to feel that gnawing pit in my stomach — loneliness. Working alone, without the hubbub of office banter and the coffee machine chats, felt eerily silent and barren. That’s when I realized; a big chunk of our social life hinges on this everyday interaction in our workplace. Feeling disconnected, I resolved to tackle this growing sense of isolation and loneliness. This post documents my journey trying to bring back some semblance of ‘social’ into my ‘distancing’ work life, and maybe, it’ll help you too.

Table of Contents

Charting New Digital Boundaries

Initially, I found it challenging to set boundaries between my personal and professional life. Blurring lines led to more time on work, less on family and self. At this point, I knew I had to draw a line. To begin, I remodeled my work habits, setting a strict schedule to get all my work done within business hours. That meant no more late-night emails or work calls at dinner time. I found this tool, Clockify, incredibly useful to track my work hours and ensure I wasn’t overworking myself. Also, I began viewing my home office as my workplace during office hours, and outside of that, just a part of my home. This subtle mental shift helped maintain the sanctity of both my work and personal life.

Bringing Back Human Interaction

Next, I started to incorporate ways to replicate ‘real’ conversations and connections in my daily routine. Getting a work-related question sorted over a call, just like we would have done by swiveling our chairs back in the office, made a significant difference. But to recreate water cooler chats, I set up dedicated catch-up time with colleagues. We decided to get on a video chat each week for a non-work discussion, often themed around book recommendations, hobby sharing, or travel stories. I would recommend you to check out Icebreaker for some fun remote team activities.

Recommended article: Efficient Ways to Stay Focused While Working Remotely

Staying Active

Another crucial part of combating isolation is by staying active. Pre-COVID, many of our daily activities were naturally designed to keep us moving. Now, with no need to step out, we fall short on physical activities. Nowadays, I incorporate a jog or a quick walk into my daily routine. I also started practicing yoga, using this incredible platform, Down Dog, which offers personalized yoga sessions. You’d be surprised by how maintaining your physical wellbeing can translate directly into your emotional wellbeing.

From Me, To You

I’m not going to sugarcoat it; this isn’t a magic wand to ‘poof’ away your loneliness. Some days are harder, and sometimes, it feels like you are talking to walls. But every step counts, and every small connection matters. Tackling loneliness while working from home is a continuous process and differs wildly between individuals. The methods that worked for me might not work for everyone. But, hopefully, my experiences can help you navigate these uncharted waters. Always remember, we are in this together. We are stronger than our loneliness, and we will thrive in our new normal. Stay connected, stay hopeful, and keep exploring new ways to make the best out of the current situation!

Jon Mullen

Greetings! I'm Jon, a digital nomad and storyteller on a perpetual quest for discovery. Originating from Chicago, Illinois, I fuse technology with my wanderlust, chronicling the highs, lows, and everything in between on this thrilling journey. Dive into my blog for insights, tips, and a front-row seat to the nomadic adventure!