Working from home has some great benefits. You can wear whatever you want (unless you have a video meeting), you can eat whatever you want without judgment, and you don’t have to commute to the office. But it also has its downsides, and many people who are now working remotely for the first time in their career are experiencing feelings of isolation.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s common to feel disconnected from others while working from home. The good news is that there are some things you can do to reconnect to your peers, improve your mood, and fight the loneliness.
Befriend your webcam
It sounds intimidating or maybe even daunting but switching to videoconferencing from teleconferencing changes the dynamic and mood of a conversation by mimicking face-to-face interaction. Talk to your team about making the move from check-in calls to a virtual check-in meeting to get some extra facetime with your peers. Being able to put a face to the voices you’ve gotten so familiar with will make you feel more connected to your coworkers, lessening those feelings of isolation little by little. If possible, schedule regular check-ins once or twice a day to discuss projects, deadlines, and get a little extra socialization in the process.
Attend live virtual events
Virtual happy hours, live webinars, and other live virtual events have been gaining popularity. Not only are these great opportunities for professional enrichment, but they can help you connect to others in your industry. You can organize your own and invite your peers or search social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to find events that interest you. Many webinars are held in the middle of the day or during regular lunch hours, making it a perfect time to squeeze in some interaction.
Find meaning in your work
Every job serves an important purpose. In the ins and outs of every day, it’s easy to lose sight of the meaning of your work. Don’t be afraid to sit back and reset your perspective on your career. Remembering the role you play in helping people, patients, and community progress is incredibly important and something that you should take pride in. Remote work can especially disconnect you from these feelings as you might feel displaced, but the meaning in your efforts doesn’t go away. Reconnect to your passion, and you might just feel a renewed sense of motivation and fulfillment.
Take care of yourself
Work-related feelings of isolation might come with a number of other emotions, including depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling isolated and unmotivated, do something to care for yourself. Take a walk, eat a healthy snack, meditate. Do something that makes you feel good, present, and healthy. It’s amazing what practicing wellness can do for improving your mood and productivity levels. When we do something to take care of ourselves, we open ourselves up to be more social, engaged, and mindful. This will help you overcome anxiety, and perhaps encourage you to do something you wouldn’t otherwise do – like take charge of a big presentation or organize an event for your peers!
It’s easy to get lost in the everyday routine of remote work, especially when it’s an unfamiliar experience, but with a little mindfulness, ingenuity, and facetime (or FaceTime!) – you’ll remember that you’re not alone.