Telecommuting has many benefits, but it can feel a little lonely when you usually work from home. Aside from feeling isolated if you mostly work alone, you may start to think that you’re not cut off from remote work and need to get back to a job in the office.

Try making some adjustments in your current work setup first before hitting the Apply button. If you want to fight the gloom while working remotely, try some of these tips:

1. Find a co-working space

If you’re missing a sense of community in a physical office, find a co-working space. Harvard Business Review notes that professionals working in co-working spaces thrive more than those working in traditional offices. They find their work more rewarding, their jobs less restrictive, and society beneficial to their professional growth.

Another study from Research Policy shows that co-working provides friends and social support, especially for less fortunate entrepreneurs during tough times. Don’t forget to keep these tech basics in mind for a productive co-working space. Although it may cost you extra bucks, you’ll love the creative work environment and convenient amenities that come with most co-working spaces.

2. Connect with others using apps and gadgets

It’s easier to make room for friends, family, and colleagues when you’re not tied to a physical desk for eight hours or more. Fortunately, technology makes it easy to send a message and ask them to join you for a quick coffee break.

For example, free apps like My Location give you the option to share your live location with others and help you know their location as well. The Garmin Connect app on Garmin smartwatches also contains interactive features that allow you to create groups, compete in fitness challenges, and comment on each other’s progress.

Using video chat tools may also help. While video can never be a substitute for face-to-face interactions, seeing a friendly face and a real person can help combat feelings of isolation. Instead of sticking to instant messaging all the time, try Zoom or a Google Meet call once in a while.

3. Join online or offline communities

There are many ways to extend your network, even when you are working remotely. First, you can join an online community related to your business. If you’re a developer, try the programming communities GitHub, Stack Overflow, or Reddit. There are also online groups on Facebook for freelance writers, digital nomads, working mothers, and more.

Or you can join online or offline groups that have nothing to do with work. Are you a bookworm? Try the virtual book club or Kindle communities on Facebook. There are a lot of amateur groups and fan clubs on Facebook that relate to specific interests.

If you are tired of virtual interactions, find volunteer groups in your area. You can even go one step further and start your own community. You will be able to set your own rules, create pages on social networks, and decide who will join!

For those with a lot of ideas, this might be a welcome break from the work routine. If none of this is interesting, try searching Meetup, which helps you find and plan events in your local community.

4. Visit your office if you have flexible working setup

If you have an employer who allows you to work in the office occasionally, take the opportunity to network with your colleagues. This can be a great way to maintain a sense of normalcy and relieve loneliness while working remotely. Plus, it can be fun to start thinking head on every once in a while.

If you absolutely hate working in the office due to noise, clutter, or long, unproductive meetings, there are effective ways to deal with that as well. You don’t have to feel resentful every time you are asked to go to the office. Check out these common workplace distractions and how to avoid them for some advice.

5. Consider getting a dog

Dogs are man’s best friend for good reason. They provide companionship and relieve stress when you work alone. Since it is healthy for dogs to follow a strict schedule, you will also have to take regular breaks for walks and playtime.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, don’t forget to download an app like Sniffspot, which recommends the best private dog parks for you and your new friend. Not sure that you can train your pup? Try Goodpup that helps you schedule and start the perfect training program with a professional trainer.

A word of caution though, having a furry friend is fun and rewarding, but it may not be for everyone. These Instagram Reels of Dog are all cute and cuddly that don’t really show the whole truth of owning a pet. A dog is a huge responsibility and an expensive investment. It doesn’t matter if you buy or adopt one from a shelter; You will need to spend time and money. If you think you can’t handle the extra load, just focus on our other tips.

6. Take regular work breaks

Taking regular breaks, even just a few minutes at a time, can help relieve feelings of loneliness and isolation. One way to do this is to get up and move around during the rest period. Find exercise videos on YouTube for a quick workout. Or try a mindfulness app like Headspace for expert guidance on topics like feeling lonely and for a few minutes of relaxation.

Taking some time for yourself will help you refresh your mind and body. In contrast, long periods of work without rest will only tire you out and make you feel more lonely once you have completed your task. Give yourself short breaks, and you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your workday with fresh energy.

Working remotely doesn’t mean being alone

The unity you feel when working remotely is true and real. However, there are many ways to reduce this. Telecommuting does not necessarily mean a break from a healthy social life. It can actually give you a chance to try out alternative workplaces, meet new friends, strengthen existing relationships, and take up new hobbies.

Use the technology available to you, find activities you enjoy, and get involved in your community. It pays to be intentional about logging off work, so that you can begin to explore opportunities that make flexible working arrangements fun.

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