Tackling Isolation In The Home Office
Whilst distractions in the small or home office are common, some people also find isolation an issue. This is common to people running a small business out of their home, who do not have anyone else working with them during the day. If you are craving some kind of interaction with other people, here are some tips to help you out, before depression starts taking control over you:
Act like you are working
Just because you are at home there is no excuse to work in your PJs all day long! You should get up at a regular time, clean up, get dressed, eat, and go to work, even if that workplace is a desk in your bedroom.
By separating home-life from work-life you help focus your efforts during work hours (thinking less about how lonely you are), and enhance the time outside of work (when you can interact with others on a social basis).
For more tips on starting your work day in a home office check out our article Getting In The Right Mindset For Working At Home.
More phone, less email
Instead of emailing or texting, pick up the phone and talk. The 2-way live interaction helps re-affirm that your business is not an island.
Relationships matter, and vocal communication is far richer than any text based message. You will also resolve issues faster than emailing back and forth all day long.
Skype people with video calls for an even better experience. Most people only need a little nudge to set up Skype on their computer, and it’s both free and fun! You will be able to pick up on non-verbal clues such as facial expressions and body language that you just can’t get on email or phone.
Take a break
Take regularly breaks each day and get out of the house. Some examples of quick and easy activities are:
- Water the garden
- Walk around the block
- Walk your dog
- Walk your neighbor’s dog
- Head down to the shops for a coffee
You don’t necessarily have to stop and talk to people – just getting out for a few minutes is enough. By the time you get back to your desk you will be ready and focused to start work again.
Socialise after hours
When your work day is up, stop work! Don’t linger around forcing yourself to put in extra effort, only to squander it on surfing the web or feeling sorry for yourself for not working hard enough.
If you have a family that comes home to you that’s great. But even if you don’t there are plenty of opportunities to socialise. If your friends are busy you can go to the gym, join a social sports team (or coach a kids team), join a special interest group, or find a community activity that you can engage in.
Sitting at home watching TV is not going to improve your mental health and help you get over that isolated feeling. You need to get out and interact with others.
And if all else fails…
Adopt a cat from your local pet rescue shelter. No matter how lonely or isolated your home feels, another living, moving creature will brighten up your life leaps and bounds!