5 Ways to feel less lonely when working from home

Ways to feel less lonely when working from home
© Anna Shvets on Pexels.

In this article...

Feeling a bit lonely lately? Remote working can have a big impact on loneliness, many studies suggest, but how do you overcome that feeling? Here are five simple tips that helped me feel much better when I'm working long hours from my home office, which might make your days a little easier.

As a full-time blogger, I spent most of my time in my little home office researching, writing, and publishing as many articles as possible. In the last 15 years as a content creator working remotely, there were many times that I felt lonely, and while I never thought that loneliness could be hard, there it was, a hit in the brick, that almost gave me writer’s block.

Work loneliness for remote workers is a thing

Work loneliness is a thing, and people who do remote work seem to suffer the most. There are many studies that support that too, including the “Work Loneliness and Employee Performance“, which explores the impact of workplace loneliness on job performance. It highlights several key findings, including the negative impact on performance, the mental health effects, the commitment and turnover, and the organizational dynamics.

One study conducted by researchers from the University of Sheffield found that loneliness among remote workers can have negative effects on mental health and job satisfaction. Another Harvard Business Review article shares evidence-based strategies for leaders and managers to build community in remote teams, and I can go on and on.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working as a freelancer in a company or running your own business, if you spend most of your time in front of your computer’s screen, things can get pretty lonely. For some, it’s hard, while for others it’s just “part of the job”, but whatever it is, if you’re experiencing loneliness, you can try a few things to change that.

Ways to feel less lonely when working from home

Now, I am not an expert, per se, but I did find a few ways to make things a whole lot better for myself, and my main focus here is to help you do the same. There are many great studies out there that you can check to gain more knowledge and find better ways, but here’s what helped me:

1. Work from elsewhere with your laptop

Work Remotely from a Cafe
© Andrew Neel on Pexels.

One of the best ways to feel less lonely is working in an environment that has other people. Before giving my laptop to my little brother, I’d been spending most of my days in different cafes, listening to music, and people talking in the background. I also met with lots of people who worked in these cafes, and my days became even better when I could speak with them.

After a few weeks, most of them already knew how I liked my usual coffee, and I didn’t even have to ask them, as they started making it the moment they saw me coming with my laptop. And that’s not even half of it, as they gave me great ideas for upcoming articles, and sharing some of my ideas and content made me realize that I could get feedback anytime that I wanted to. In addition, some of them also shared my content with their friends and family, and sometimes they even talked about a post that I had published the day before.

Now, I am not saying go out there and start making new friends who work in cafes, but if you find a place that you like and gives you inspiration, why not meet the people working there and exchange a few words? To me, it just makes things easier. There’s also the outdoors option. If we had better parks, I would have taken my laptop and worked from various open and public spaces (always using a VPN service to stay safe, of course). If the weather looks good, why not head out to a park, and may stress your legs a bit?

2. Listen to your favourite radio stations

Retro styled FM radio placed on desk
© Skylar Kang on Pexels.

If you don’t own a laptop, or going to cafes isn’t an option, then listening to the radio may be your best option. While I was a radio freak all my life, from back in the days when my sweet grandma was alive and we kept listening to our favourite radio stations together, I never thought one day radio would be that thing that would make me feel less lonely – but it was, and it still is as of today.

There are so many choices when it comes to listening to the radio, but if I could give you an option, that would be TuneIn, which is a great free app that you can use to find millions of radio stations all around the world. You can create a profile, create a list and add your favourite stations there, so you can always be one click away from streaming what you like.

I am not talking about those radio stations playing 24/7 nonstop music though, I am referring to those who have their own daily programs. For example, there are five different hosts that I like to listen to every day, and with some, we even exchange discussions through Viber, which they use to get messages from their audience.

Listening to the local radio stations is also a great way to get updated with everything that is happening in your region or country while staying entertained and working at the same time. If you’re already listening to a specific radio station, drop it in the comments!

3. put your desk in front of a window

Laptop in front of a Window
© Grovemade on Unsplash.

What I dislike more than working for extended hours is staring at a wall while doing so. I enjoy taking brief breaks every 30 to 40 minutes, employing a method known as the Pomodoro Technique, yet it’s not as beneficial as looking outside of my window.

Residing in a digital era often leaves me yearning for the world, and just looking outside makes my working hours feel “less digital” – if that makes any sense.

To do so I had to make a few changes around my home office, such as moving my desk, bed, chairs, a tablet that I had sitting in the middle and a couple of other stuff. In the end, it looked a whole lot better, and I even took some ideas from Pinterest and decorated it accordingly.

Even when you’re working in a small home office like mine, which is no bigger than a box, making those decoration changes also helped a lot with my productivity, which was a nice addition.

4. Turn emails into phone meetings or video calls

Woman in video call

There are two kinds of people; Those who hate phone calls and meetings, and those who don’t. Call me crazy, but having the same conversation with a few other freelancers, we all agreed on one thing; Phone calls and meetings are a great way to feel less lonely, communicate with other people, and even share some laughs.

While there’s this “culture” of people complaining that “this meeting could have been an email”, there are many others feeling the exact opposite. Although that’s not for everyone, if you’re working as a freelancer with clients, a phone call or an online meeting can make a huge difference when it comes to your feelings.

Now, I am not an expert on this matter, but if there are a few people saying the same, more may also benefit from this little “trick”.

5. Start exercising

Man Standing Near Shore - MTB Bike
© Daniel Frank on Pexels.

I’ve always hated exercising and any physical activity they recommended to me. I wasn’t one of those people loving the gym, and I couldn’t see myself going there every day, but I also knew that I couldn’t just sit all day long without doing anything.

So I started biking, which was very difficult at first, but after a few months of exercising five days per week, I finally started to understand all the benefits that came with it.

Apart from improving your mental health, which is crucial, I found out that exercising makes you feel a whole lot better about yourself and your self-esteem. Stress reduction? You got it! Listening to music with my Marshall in-ear headphones while biking in nature was the best mind-blowing stress reduction I’ve ever had, and focusing on this hobby has helped a lot with the loneliness.

Based on an NTU study, the lack of physical exercise was seen as a key issue for people working from home, while regular exercise can combat loneliness and contribute to overall well-being.

Conclusion: Loneliness is pretty common when working remotely

It’s pretty common for people who work remotely and don’t interact with others to feel more lonely than others who, let’s say, work in an office or have lots of meetings during the day.

But there’s a point where you may have to seek professional advice/help if you consistently feel lonely, isolated, or disconnected from others, especially over an extended period.

Remember that seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Therapists, counsellors, and mental health professionals can provide valuable support and strategies to manage loneliness.

Have you experienced any loneliness? And if so, have you tried anything that helps you feel better? I’d love to hear all about your personal experience, thoughts, and what helped you in the comment section at the end of this page.

Panos Sakalakis

Meet Panos Sakalakis, a web wizard, blogging buff, podcasting pro, and SEO sorcerer with over 15 years of enchanting experience. When he's not weaving digital spells with his keyboard, you'll likely spot him conquering mountain trails with his trusty Hard-Trail MTB bike, in hot pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline rush and the perfect blog post inspiration.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share your thoughts & ask questions!x