How to Avoid Cabin Fever When You Work Remotely
A recent New Yorker article had remote workers across the globe in stitches, laughing knowingly at the mention of nonstop snacking, and likely more than a little surprised by the reality within the satire.
It’s true: peering through curtains hungrily seeking human contact is an actual response to the frequent feelings of isolation that remote work elicits. Those who are new to the arrangement crave community, but those who are veterans have often found it.
As a remote worker myself, I’ve joked that I almost need a list of things to do to avoid cabin fever. I don’t doubt that many others have felt the same way at one point or another. There are only so many Skype chats or conference calls to participate in before you realize you’ve not showered, nor have you been in the presence of another human being for hours. Or days.
Keeping your sanity in check while maintaining productivity as a remote worker can admittedly be challenging. For all of our sakes, I’ve created the following checklist, which, if adhered to on a monthly basis, can prevent even the most vulnerable among us from succumbing to cabin fever.
Here’s how to avoid cabin fever when you work remotely:
Schedule virtual lunch dates with colleagues.
Just because your teammates exist behind a screen doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with them. Arrange to have lunch (or a snack or coffee if your timezones don’t quite line up) and fire up a video conference. Take time to get to know one another, telling jokes, sharing stories, and talking anything but shop for 30 minutes or so. It’ll energize you for the remainder of the day.
Set up actual coffee chats with friends.
Remember those people you used to spend time with before you were so busy? Your pals are still out there. Reach out to find some availability on both of your calendars and get together in person for a coffee date. Ask questions and be sure to bring each other up to speed on your personal and professional lives. You’ll walk away having bolstered a friendship as well as your mood. Bonus!
Attend professional and hobby-related meet-ups.
There are plenty of opportunities to unplug and make new friends, too. There are face-to-face events to suit any interest or profession. Join the local pug owner meet-up, gather with other craft beer enthusiasts, or seek out a popular startup group. You never know what connections you’ll make that could be worthwhile—or you might just widen your social circle further.
Volunteer your services.
There’s no better way to give back to the community than to offer your time and talents toward a noble cause. Seek out nonprofit organizations in your areas of interest that could benefit from your expertise (legal, marketing, coding, managerial, etc.) and drop a line to the executive director. At the very least, you’ll have made a new contact, but it could also be the beginning of a very rewarding relationship.
By Kristi DePaul | August 4, 2017 | Categories: Work Remotely