I recently read an article titled “How I Stay Sane And Productive As An Extrovert Who Works Remotely” which focused on how to address the lack of in-person contact that is sometimes experienced with remote work. If you presently work remotely you may recall a time when you felt secluded or found yourself yearning for more interaction with others. Whether you are a current remote employee or considering a remote position, you may benefit from the tips provided below in order to conquer any feelings of loneliness as a remote worker.
The article encouraged remote workers to take part in social activities in some way once they take on a remote position. Examples:
- Join an exercise group (running, yoga, crossfit, etc) that provides an opportunity to socialize and ward off stress.
- Subscribe to Meetup which notifies you when special interest groups have an event scheduled in your local area. Meetup provides an opportunity to get involved in groups that have similar interests as you. You can also create a meetup event yourself and publish it for others to participate in. There are categories of interest that you can learn more about via the Meetup website and they also have an app you can download to your apple or android device.
- Volunteer as a coach or scout leader.
- Plan regular get togethers with friends and family.
The article suggests making social activities a priority because this is a form of self-care for remote workers and a way to recharge and socialize.
Wear Your Shoes:
Another tip the article provided was to make sure you get dressed and put your shoes on as part of your daily routine. This will prevent you from using the excuse of “not being ready” when you have the opportunity to get out and enjoy an outside activity whether going for a run, meeting a friend for happy hour or visiting the local coffee shop.
Something as simple as putting on your shoes every morning can make a difference in your behavior and preparedness to enjoy and participate in activities outside of the office.
Technology Is Your Friend:
There are many great tools and technological resources that promote in-person collaboration and team work. Investigate tools for video-conferencing, whiteboarding and team brainstorming. These tools improve interaction and team building which will in turn help you feel more connected.
In person communication is critical to employee engagement.
- Take advantage of video conference calls and opportunities to engage with others.
- If you call someone and have access to facetime, use it.
- Ask your manager if he or she can organize meet and greets via video conferencing in order to get to know others on your team.
- If you live near other employees, reach out to schedule a central location to have dinner or meet for coffee.
- Electronic communication during the workday can become monotonous but use this as an opportunity to stay engaged with your team … this can be an effective relationship builder too. Adding emojis or injecting your personality into the communications can help your team get to know each other better and you will begin to feel more connected.
Don’t Be Shy, Ask For Help:
If you are feeling isolated, reach out to your manager so he or she is aware. Your manager likely has no idea you are feeling this way and it is important to let them know so they can offer suggestions on how to overcome the issue. Keep in mind your manager has more than likely felt this way at some point during their remote career too and may have some great ideas on how they addressed it, that may also work for you.
It could be something as simple as setting up a daily or weekly check-in call with your manager or getting involved in a special work group or task force to expand your interaction with others. Be sure to let someone know if you are struggling so it can be addressed as soon as possible. The benefits of working remotely far outweigh the hurdles you may experience along the way.
Stay Calm and Remote On!