Working from home sounds like a dream and it has many benefits, but let’s face it, it has considerable challenges also. Yes, you may be able to avoid certain annoyances, like long commutes and traffic, but there are a new set of struggles, that many remote employees must deal with.
One of those challenges is the feeling of isolation.
Isolation: The double edged sword?
Human beings are social creatures by nature and by working from home, remote employees may not realize just how much they rely on outside stimulation, like “water cooler” chatter, until it is no longer there. For many remote employees, solitude is often seen as a perk. It is an opportunity to focus on tasks and projects without the countless distractions that occur in a typical office environment. But too much of it can be unhealthy and can lead to a decrease in motivation and productivity, both on a personal level as well as professional level.
How to avoid the isolation pitfall of working from home:
- Schedule work meetings or client interaction in person or through Skype
- Go outside; run errands or take a walk during your lunch break or work at a nearby coffee shop or diner for a morning or afternoon
- Join Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets to connect with other likeminded individuals, but don’t let it become a distraction during the work day
- Visit the home office or attend company sponsored events
- Pursue new hobbies and interest or volunteer in your community