Whilst many people live at home with partners, families or friends, there are many that live alone where isolation can take over. Even those that do have a full house can experience the feeling of loneliness.
With more people now working remotely, the chances of being lonely and feeling isolated is heightened. Some people are fully accustomed to working from home and for them being alone most of the day is the norm, however for some people it has been harder to adjust. This can cause employees' performance at work to fall, their productivity levels reducing and most importantly their mental health being affected.
Working within an office environment provides the opportunity to go and chat to your co-workers, have face to face meetings and generally just have people around you. So, how can remote workers combat the feeling of loneliness in the long-term?
Maintaining optimum communication between you and your colleagues while working from home is key! When working from home, social interaction is at a minimum. That’s why it’s so important to introduce more ways to connect and converse with your fellow co-workers on a daily basis. Be proactive in setting up more meetings online and regular calls with those you work closely with.
Being in the same environment for a long period of time can take its toll and make people feel lonelier, especially when you’re staring at the same four walls 9-5! Take a step out of the house over your lunch break or in the evening once you’ve finished your day, just being around others' presence can make all the difference. Think of it as a little escape from the place that makes you feel lonely.
Whilst popping out for a walk or to the gym may not be the sole cure for loneliness, research has shown that keeping active can reduce anxiety and depression which could contribute to the feeling of loneliness.
Encourage face to face meetings
When many people started to work from home over the pandemic, meeting face to face was taboo. But now that we are over the covid hurdle and back to normal life, thankfully meeting face to face has made a return. Conducting meetings online has evolved enormously over the past couple of years, however, they can lack emotional interaction, making it harder for people to form connections via these mediums.
You may also want to explore the possibility of hybrid working if your office is available or taking a couple of days a week to work within a new environment such as the library or a café.
Socialise outside of work
Do you stay cooped up at home Monday to Friday and live for the weekends? It could be time to change this mindset if you are experiencing loneliness! Invest your spare time during the week to organise a meet up with friends, join a new gym class or visit family. This mid-week escape from your place of work could make a huge difference to not only the way you perform at work, but could also be a step in the right direction of tackling loneliness.
Talk to someone
Whilst advice and tips could help you in the short-term, experiencing long-term loneliness with little sign of improvement is detrimental for your mental health without you realising.
At this point, it’s important to organise a confidential chat with your employer and chat about the ways in which you can tackle your loneliness together. Perhaps this is in the form of more virtual meetings with the team or even more social events to bring everyone together. Whatever it may be, remember to put your mental health first within the workplace and reach out when times get tough.
For more information on this year’s topic for Mental Health Awareness Week, visit their website to find out more about the loneliness campaign and their expert advice on tackling loneliness.
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