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​How to avoid getting lonely when working from home.

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​How to avoid getting lonely when working from home.

Working from home provides the opportunity to avoid long and costly commutes and is like a breath of fresh air for many workers up and down the country. However, the reality of working from home is that some people may find themselves very quickly feeling isolated and experiencing feelings of loneliness. Back-to-back zoom calls or the much-needed peace and quiet to tackle a big project can be all consuming, so it is easy for early signs of loneliness to go unnoticed. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how busy you are with your job, home working removes many if not most of the human interactions we would normally experience if we went to the office. It can also lead to the gentle erosion of our ability to build more meaningful relationships with our co-workers as our interactions in the virtual world become more transactional.

The first step is to be aware of how a change in working habits will affect you. Then you can take make the smalls changes that will make a big difference.

Below are our top tips.

Make the most of your virtual tech. Don’t just use a video call for meetings, organise a virtual coffee or social catch up with colleagues, you are not the only one that would benefit from these casual interactions.

Pick up the phone! It is easy to send an email, but nothing is better than speaking to someone in person. An unscheduled video call can be seen as intrusive, but an old-fashioned phone call can be taken anywhere at anytime.

Meet someone for lunch. Taking breaks is important for mental health generally, but adding in a social element is a double win. Schedule lunch with a friend or family member, or organise lunch groups for other people in your community who are also working from home.

Make plans on a weeknight! Joining a club or meeting up with friends maybe difficult to organise but make that extra effort to leave your home.

Spend time outside. Fresh air, nature and outdoor exercise are provide fantastic mental health benefits. A brisk walk whatever the weather may be the recharge in the middle of the day you need.

Vary your work location. There is an amazing array of co-working spaces, Wi-Fi connected cafes or other locations that are available for you to use. If it isn’t feasible to spend a day working from another space then organise your diary so you can have a phone meeting or write a report offline or on a laptop, from somewhere that has background noise and people.

The common theme in all the above is that you need to be proactive. Not everyone will immediately notice the signs of isolation or loneliness in themselves. Take a moment to self-assess, recognising any change in your mental health and asking yourself how these changes are affecting you? It also goes without saying, that if you haven’t heard from a colleague in a while, reach out to them and ask them how they are.