Tips to Combat Loneliness When Working Remotely
Mental Health Week is observed every year in May and aims to raise awareness of all aspects of mental health. Each year, the week has a primary theme – for 2022, it is Loneliness.
Did you know? One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time.
Although there’s no single cause of loneliness, the significant rise in the number of remote workers since the start of the pandemic has undoubtedly had an effect, with many businesses adopting fully remote or hybrid working arrangements.
Whilst working remotely has its benefits and is preferred by many, for many others it hasn’t come without its challenges – the physical separation from the workplace has left many people feeling like they don’t have friends at work and that they’re less loyal or connected to their company.
At Humand, we put a huge emphasis on looking after the mental wellbeing of our team, and that includes encouraging a few habits that can help tackle loneliness when our team are making the most of the opportunity to work remotely – here’s our top 5!
Communicate with the team
It may sound simple, but for some, a video call with colleagues could be the only interaction they have with another human that day. We kick off our day with a quick 10 minute stand up to set out our plans for the sprints ahead – if we’re all in the office, this takes place in person, otherwise, it’s on Teams to make sure our remote workers are included. Following each of our sprints, we also have retrospective catch up where we celebrate any successes, discuss any blockers, and offer any support to others.
Work in a combination of locations
Although working from home can be hugely convenient, it’s good to shake it up and vary the location from time to time. For those who have the option, the office is always a great place to connect with colleagues, but for those who don’t have access to an office, there are always other alternatives to consider – co-working spaces, local coffee shops, libraries or even a workspace in someone else’s home/premises!
We operate a hybrid model and give our team the freedom to work from anywhere on the days they’re not in the office. As a small business with a close-knit team, we feel it’s important to maintain face to face contact with each other so do encourage regular office visits, but we also understand that our team members all have lives outside of work which benefit hugely from the flexibility to work remotely.
Take advantage of the flexibility
Have you ever calculated the amount of time you get back by not having to travel to the office? If you take an average 30-minute journey to and from the office, for a worker doing 2 days a week remotely, that’s 2 hours of travelling time saved per week… don’t think that sounds like much? Over the year, they’ll reclaim 104 hours – that’s the equivalent of 2.6 working weeks’ worth of time back!
We encourage our employees to use this time to do something they enjoy, whether that’s walking the dog, spending more time with their family, hitting the golf course, heading to the gym or gaming – having time for doing the things they love is a great way to maintain motivation in life and at work.
Make plans after work
One in four adults will feel lonely at some point in time. There’s no one cause and no one solution. But, if you’re feeling isolated, it’s important to take steps to alleviate it especially if you’re working remotely. Sometimes this could be as simple as taking a walk in a park, or round a shop and just being in the presence of others. Other times this could involve plans with colleagues, friends, seeing family or joining organised groups/classes.
We love to take the opportunity to pop out to lunch together at our favourite local café, order in a takeaway and have a team lunch in the office or grab a drink in the sunshine after an early Friday finish! Plans like this bring the feeling of community and force us to take a break or stop working at the end of the working day – which also means we won’t become overworked and burnt out!
Collaborate on tasks/projects
Working towards a common goal not only has the benefits of sharing skills and creativity, but it’s also a great opportunity to build strong connections, improve relationships with colleagues, and appreciate the work of others.
At times, when workload increases or deadlines are looming, collaborating with colleagues can also help to take some pressure off and keep stress manageable – having access to someone else’s skills, shared responsibility, someone to learn from, other ideas or an alternative point of view can be invaluable.
We encourage a collaborative culture within our team and ensure that everyone is rewarded accordingly with team goals and incentives. Having the team working towards shared goals not only helps to keep everyone motivated but it’s also a fantastic way for our employees to progress – the junior members of the team work closely with those more experienced to grow their skills and the more experienced members of the team get the opportunity to build their mentoring and leadership skills.
As well as our own team having the flexibility to work remotely if they choose, we also work with a number of businesses who offer flexible and remote working – check out the roles available on our website or get in touch if you’re considering a new opportunity that gives you the flexibility you desire.