Home alone? How to prevent feeling too isolated when working away from the office

Given how long it’s now been since countries around the world started mandating work-from-home policies in the light of the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to assume that the widespread switch to home offices has been a runaway success.

However, in research mentioned by a Forbes article in 2021, about 25% of Americans were found to feel lonely when working at home. If you are still working from home but also struggling to adapt socially to it, here are some measures that could help you to alleviate your isolation. 

Leave the house during your lunch break 

Even something as simple as a short walk in a local park could make it easier for you to clear your head – and leave you with renewed optimism for that next big project on the horizon. 

While walking, you could find yourself bumping into someone you know – or perhaps even a stranger similarly happy to strike up a short conversation with you. 

Find a community space in which to work

This should basically be any public space where you would get many benefits of your home office – such as a lack of productivity-killing distractions – but still be physically close to other people and get to hear background noise akin to that of a traditional office. 

So, good candidates to consider would include libraries, cafes and co-working spaces. Even if you end up rarely interacting with people here directly, the simple change of scenery could do you good. 

Proactively reach out to your work colleagues

You probably already have various means of doing this, such as using tools like Zoom and Slack. Using these, rather than resorting to simple texting or emailing, could ease efforts you make to discuss various matters in depth with your co-workers. 

You could even opt to hold the occasional webinar. “What is a webinar,” you might be thinking – and Lifewire provides an answer, describing a webinar as “a live, web-based video conference that uses the internet to connect the individual (or multiple individuals) hosting the webinar”. 

Arrange to meet up with people after work

These people could include not only co-workers but also friends outside of work as well as members of your family. 

In scheduling regular meet-ups, you can give yourself something to look forward to when you are working. You would also be incentivized to avoid working well beyond the usual cut-off point – whether that’s 5pm or any other time specified by your boss. 

Approach mental health experts for help

If you still often feel cripplingly lonely when you work from home, take heart that you are certainly not alone. 

Stylist digital writer Lauren Geall explains: “The coronavirus pandemic has left many people feeling isolated – but reaching out and talking about how you’re feeling can make a difference.” 

Geall implies that reading a number of online articles on the subject of COVID-era loneliness could give you a few pointers for reducing feelings of isolation. You could also come across mental health charities where workers would be willing to provide you with further advice.