The coronavirus has shed some light on what people that have been working from home for years were already aware of – it’s not easy. The idea of being able to earn a living without having to leave the house seems grand, but there is a unique set of challenges to be dealt with on a regular basis. At the top of the list are loneliness and isolation.
Americans who are now working from home in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus have reaped the benefits of being able to save time and money on daily commutes, but are seriously longing for social interaction with others. Though you may communicate with co-workers through chatrooms and emails, it pales in comparison to those breakroom conversations during lunchtime.
Socializing and connecting with others is a necessity for a person’s emotional wellbeing. When you work from home, however, those interactions are limited, if not obsolete, which makes getting through the workday a lot more challenging. As it can be hard to determine when everyone will be allowed to return to the workplace, learning how stay connected and provide support for those working from home is evident. Here are some quick remedies:
Pick Up the Phone
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, sending texts and emails was a form of communication that typically everyone used to stay in touch. Be that as it may, many have come to learn just how impersonal these methods of communication really are. While working from home, turning to “old-school” methods of using the telephone is highly recommended. Whether it’s just to check-in on someone or to ask a work-related question, a telephone conversation can help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Anyone who is working from home for the first time is likely going through the same emotional struggles. A great way to connect and support your coworkers during these uncertain times would be to send them a gift. You can shop for work from home gifts online ranging from tea and coffee to candles and snacks and send them to those you miss. This not only lets them know that you’re thinking about them but it makes it easier for them to get through the stresses of the day. It also serves as a great conversation starter when you connect over the phone.
Virtual Lunch Dates
Do you miss the days when you’d head to a nearby restaurant or cafe to grab a bite to eat and catch up with your coworkers? Though dining in restaurants is still restricted largely around the country, there are still ways you guys can socialize over a great meal. One example would be to schedule virtual lunch dates. You guys can use video conferencing software to connect digitally as you indulge in a homemade lunch or something you’ve ordered from your favorite spot. Spend time talking about things unrelated to the office like how you’re adjusting to being at home with the family, new goals you’ve set, hobbies you’ve started, and more.
Virtual Happy Hours
For many employees, Friday evenings after shift was something to look forward to. You’d utilize this time to get together with your coworkers and discuss everything from your frustrations in the office to weekend plans. The best part – indulging in your favorite alcoholic beverages while watching sporting events or jamming out to music playing in the background. This can still be a means of relief for you. Using the idea from the virtual lunches discussed above, you simply set the tone at home, grab your favorite bottle of bubbly, and patch into the network to have a blast with your friends.
The coronavirus has changed the landscape of the workplace for the foreseeable future. As working from home can prove to be a lonely task, individuals are encouraged to find ways to stay connected and support others to lower the risk of developing mental illness. The above-mentioned solutions are an effective way to still get the social interaction you need while remaining safe at home.