How HM Employees Avoid WFH Lonliness
Despite the Great Resignation and some companies insisting employees return to work, remote work is here to stay. The last two years later prove the pros still outweigh the cons—a 2022 study revealed 97% of respondents would recommend remote work to others, and 61% described their remote work experience as very positive. Employees have become accustomed to a work-balance lifestyle and enjoy more free time at home. However, while flexibility and increased productivity are significant advantages, reports of remote work loneliness are increasingly a concern.
Humans are inherently social by nature and participating in communities improves our mental and physical health. Making and sustaining work friendships when you aren’t sharing the same physical location takes effort, and it’s hard not to feel isolated some days when working from home.
Here at Hoffman Murtaugh, we know all about remote work life. We asked some of our employees to share their strategies for combatting work-from-home-loneliness—here’s what they suggest:
“I love listening to podcasts when I can. It’s almost as if I have a friend working with me!” — Ariana Villavicencio, Communications and Content Specialist.
“I have worked remotely since graduating from university, so I actually don’t have experience working in an office setting! Some of my strategies for avoiding loneliness are finding fun things to do outside the house, like going to the library, bookstore, grabbing coffee, or having a bite to eat with friends or my partner. I try to make sure I’m doing something with friends at least once over the weekends. I also like to plan trips throughout the year with others or to visit family so that I always have something to look forward to. It also helps to keep up with hobbies in my free time—I love reading, walking/playing with my dog, and going to the gym.” — Shayla Terkalas, Media Coordinator
“I have some friends who also work remotely, so sometimes I’ll get together with them during the workday and we’ll keep each other company. I also like to call a friend over my lunch break or have a comfort show playing in the background while I work. Making plans for weeknights is also helpful.” — Alex Fazzari, Media Coordinator
“As someone that travels frequently, I love that I can “work from anywhere,” whether that be the coffee shop down the street, on a boat in the middle of summer, or even in another country whenever I feel the need to escape my current surroundings. My company trusts me to get the job done, no matter where I sit on a map, which is a blessing in and of itself. That’s really helped with loneliness as I’m someone who constantly craves new environments. When I am working strictly from home, I have a ton of pets to keep me company, which definitely helps me feel less alone. In addition, I make sure to plan out certain days of the week to go out and socialize with friends/family to ensure I’m still getting those face-to-face interactions” — Jess Mannering, Senior Communications & Content Manager
“I love the quiet and solitude to get my work done that a remote work environment provides. However, chats with co-workers, lots of meetings, and having a pet help when any sort of loneliness sets in. — Melissa Kelly, Strategic Communications and Content Manager
To summarize, we’ve found it most helpful to plan social outings with family and friends, get a change of scenery by working somewhere other than home, and put on some background noise when fighting off feelings of remote work loneliness.