While I can (and do) work from anywhere, my preferred place is my home office. It’s a quiet, cozy space with an enclosed garden. I have great coffee, an electric sit-stand desk, high-speed Internet, and a neighbor cat who comes over to visit. This is the place where I am happiest and at my most productive.
We all have different needs when it comes to productivity and being social. Some people, like me, love working alone. But many remote workers struggle with loneliness and isolation. Depending on your situation and your personality, you’ll need to customize a solution that works for you.
I’ve interviewed over 50 people who work remotely and wanted to share some of their tips for how you can combat the loneliness of working alone and build connection into your day.
How to Combat Loneliness and Disconnection as a Remote Worker
Leave the house.
If you’re working on your own and want to physically be around other people, you’ll need to leave the house. It’s as simple as that. Even just going out to exercise can help combat the feeling of being lonely. If you’re looking for a new place to work, the first things that usually come to mind are coffee shops, bookstores, and libraries. But if you want a place where you can spend more time around other solo professionals, find a coworking space, or ask to work from a client’s office (which has the added benefit of relationship building). If you want to set up a more permanent workspace outside your home (where you can set up external monitors for example), try renting an office together with others.
Work out loud.
It’s not just working on our own where we can feel disconnected. It can also happen when we’re working with a remote team. One of the best cures for this is working out loud. Working out loud means narrating your work and making it observable to others. Basically, it’s a way of working that helps us know what others are doing.