It’s a known fact that remote work provides freedom, flexibility, and convenience. However, if you’ve ever worked remotely, you’ve no doubt experienced its downsides too.
A recent report by Buffer indicates that loneliness, coupled with communication and collaboration, is the biggest struggle of remote workers.
Here are 6 ways to overcome these disadvantages when working from home and remotely.
1. Try a CoWorking Space
In its Loneliness and the Workplace Report, Cigna indicates that 60% of Americans report feeling lonely at work. The report further states that lonely workers are less engaged and less productive.
To dispel the feeling of seclusion, take your laptop somewhere else to work at least one day per week.
Coworking spaces provide access to shared amenities, useful resources, and innovative workplace designs. In a nutshell, it’s a significant change from your home office. According to Harvard Business Review, employees who use coworking spaces thrive at an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. The range of work settings offered by a coworking space lets you change up scenery regularly, boosting your productivity.
Besides, a coworking space provides networking opportunities. A report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that “coworking spaces expose you to chances and opportunities.” Being surrounded by other professionals impacts motivation enhances creativity and boosts a sense of community.
2. Keep the Line of Communication Open with Team Mates
Having a close relationship with someone you work with is another way to keep your social life ongoing as a remote worker.
A report by the Harvard Business Review indicates that having a friend at work can make you better engaged and happier. Another research by Gallup indicates that friendships with a co-worker are 7 times more likely to be engaged at work.
In other words, a close friendship with a co-worker can boost health, happiness, and workplace productivity.
To make room for a tight-knot relationship, be open about your interests and hobbies during team-building activities. Who knows? Like-minded colleagues may eventually become your buddies due to common topics you share.
3. Plan After-Work Hours Meet-ups With Family and Friends
Working solo doesn’t have to mean zero social life. And while virtual meeting rooms and online chats go a long way in fostering interaction with teammates, online conversations cannot compete with In-person meetups. Face-to-face communication lets you perceive thoughts and emotions. You easily process body language or facial reactions.
Step out of your remote workspace regularly. Have breakfast with a friend, or plan lunch with a family member. Set up a meet-up with a colleague to discuss work-related issues in a relaxed environment. Socializing can help reduce your stress levels and help you meet new people.
4. Consider Coliving
Remote work opportunities have given rise to digital nomad co-living. A news report by The Economist states that many remote workers are escaping the game of lockdown by moving and exploring new places.
69% of employees working from home report remote work burnout due to isolation and poor work-life balance.
An in-work travel coliving space lets you connect with like-minded people in a new environment. You get the opportunity to network and share ideas, knowledge, and experiences.
If you aspire for a free nomadic living lifestyle but feel lonely, you need more than accommodation. You need a community of like-minded remote workers you can connect with at your new location. Coliving can provide newer experiences.
5. Reach Out and Talk to One Person Everyday
In addition to staying connected with coworkers, hold a genuine conversation with at least one person each day.
Whether via video calls or phone calls, communication with loved ones can keep you from feeling isolated behind a screen. Introduce liveliness into a boring workday by surprising someone with a phone call.
For instance, talking with parents can help catch up on your day and what’s going on in their lives. How about a friend that you haven’t called for a while? Reaching out to different people on your contact list is a way to interact beyond text messages.
In addition to voice calls, video chatting via Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, Instagram and more is great for making someone smile and brightening his/her day.
While technology and innovation have made remote work possible for many, it comes with three big challenges – loneliness, unplugging after work, and communication.
With deliberate planning, however, you’ll be able to overcome most of these downsides and make remote work suck less.