It’s easy to be lonely when you’re a remote worker.
You have no colleagues to hang out with – no one to chat with during your coffee breaks, or to team up with at lunchtime. You don’t have the thrill of office gossip or watercooler chats, and there are no in-person company events for you to attend. Even if there were, you might not live close enough to attend anyway.
So how do you cope with loneliness when working remotely?
- Join forces with other remote workers in your city
Are there others in your area who work for themselves or have flexible jobs? Reach out to them to see if they’d like to meet up at a coffee shop or co-working space to get some work done together. You could also host a regular potluck or happy hour with your local remote worker friends.
- Schedule time for social interaction throughout the day
It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s important to schedule time for social interaction throughout the day. If you don’t schedule it, it’s easy to go an entire day without talking to anyone but your dog. To combat this, use your calendar to set up meetings with your colleagues just so you can talk about non-work stuff and build connections (even if they’re virtual). We’ve found that 15 minutes is usually enough time to catch up on things like the latest episode of your favorite show and what everyone did last weekend.
- Get in some face time
Conference calls aren’t what they used to be. Now, video conferencing is everywhere, thanks to services like Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom. They’re free or low-cost for teams that want to hold regular meetings or brainstorming sessions. You can even use them for day-to-day chitchat with your team members, if you want.