Remote working - fight the isolation creeping in!
Working remotely has seen many of us lose that personal connection we had with our jobs, and with our colleagues. All of us at Beingwell have missed the social aspects of working in an office. Although working from home has huge benefits, it can be really difficult to maintain or even build these relationships; especially when we have busy personal lives or have started a new job in the pandemic.
It’s important to maintain social relationships while working from home to prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness; especially for those of us who live alone. So, what can we do?
Some work-based tips:
We might be missing the Monday morning meetings to start our week, we may feel out of the loop not being able to nip over to a colleague’s desk for a quick chat about our weekend, or we might find the peer support kept us productive and we’re struggling right now. Ask around colleagues to see if anyone is feeling this way. We need to make an extra effort in communication right now, and emails can be difficult. At Beingwell, we have family meetings to keep everyone in the loop about what’s going on, and a group of us have set up a ‘Monday Motivation’ meeting to discuss our tasks for the week and discuss how we got on in the previous week.
Zoom Quiz or Friday Night Pub Club
If we can still stand the zoom quiz, we could organise a fortnightly or monthly quiz to socialise and have some fun with our colleagues as we might if we could go out to a quiz together. However, those of us who cannot stand the thought of another zoom quiz might organise a Friday night pub club or maybe a book club. Those of us who enjoyed nipping to the pub after the working week to enjoy some time with work friends might be really missing that social aspect. Organise a video call for a Friday evening, share a drink from the safety of our own home and chat away as we would in a real pub or start a book club and have a weekly video call to discuss opinions.
Join live classes
Maybe we attended fitness classes through our place of work, or joined a gym with a friend from work, why not find some live classes to take part in together, it might be a high-intensity Zumba class or something more light-hearted, like laughing yoga. At Beingwell, we are taking part in a fitness competition, we’re in teams and try to complete 26 minutes of exercise a day for 26 days (even walking counts). The most active team wins, and we will all benefit from increasing our fitness levels while working from home.
Many of us at Beingwell are new to our jobs but are working remotely so we’ve not had the chance to get to know each other much! Those of us in the same boat, or those just missing the social aspects of work, might organise a casual meeting or video call to just get to know each other. We have ‘Funky Friyays’ (we know, cheesy!) where we all wear a funky shirt and take the time to get to know each other. Sometimes we have a beer together, sometimes we just catch up about the week, it’s been a great opportunity to get to know each other a little bit more.
Reality reminder: these ideas won’t suit everyone; we might prefer to catch up one on one or with friends and family outside of work to prevent feelings of loneliness. But remember, many of us are in similar positions and reaching out might help a number of us! And if our work schedule is super busy right now, try to get out and away from it as much as we can to avoid engaging in unhelpful or unhealthy behaviours that isolation can trigger.