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In case you weren’t aware: working from home can be very isolating.
When you’re in an office or even a store setting, you’re always surrounded by people. There are always co-workers around and maybe even clients or customers.
If you are used to being surrounded at all times and you’re now at home full-time, you might suddenly feel quite lonely.
Keeping yourself connected to people, both online and off, is now of utmost importance.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Well, here are my favorite tips for keeping that human connection alive:
host regular group chats
While you can’t see your colleagues face to face, we have the benefit of being able to keep in touch digitally. You can try to host a regular group chat with colleagues as a good way to keep you connected.
Scheduling group calls can be next to impossible with people on their own schedules now, but take a small poll and schedule the time that works best for the majority of your coworkers.
Suggestion: try to chat first thing in the morning before you start work. It will be the best time to get clarification in projects you’re working on. Knowing what is going on BEFORE you start your daily tasks is always helpful.
Use social media
AS I pointed out in THIS post, social media can be a time suck and a huge distraction.. BUT it’s also a useful tool to keep in touch.
Set timers so you don’t waste your day or obliterate your productivity while mindlessly scrolling. It will force you to be more mindful about what you’re doing.
You want to give yourself the time to stay in touch, but you also don’t want it to consume your work time.
video calls are your friend
Technology has really come a long way, hasn’t it? I remember when you wanted someone to see a video, you had to haul out the Camcorder, tape the event, then make copies of that videotape and snail mail it out to people.
Now we can have video group chats on platforms like Facetime, Zoom and Skype. You can also create a group on Facebook and go live in just the group.
Years ago, Mini spent three hours on the phone with my sister (who lived 7 hours away at the time). They went shopping, ate dinner AND watched a movie together – all through Facetime! Mini was so happy to get to connect with her Aunt, who she missed so much.
Being able to still connect face-to-face makes a big difference in keeping those feelings of isolation at bay.
set birthday/event reminders
You can set reminders on your phone or turn on the event notifications if you’re on social media. If multiple people have the same birthday, make sure you set it to just one notification. You don’t want to drive yourself nuts 🙂
Maybe send them a potato or purchase something from your favorite small business and either ship it or drop it off.
respond to communication quickly
Try to respond to emails as soon as possible. You don’t sit there and keep refreshing the email tab on your browser, but if you’re in the middle of a group project, make sure you answer messages forthwith.
Think about this: waiting hours/days just to get a reply can be tough. Don’t let your colleagues feel ignored by taking forever to get back to them.
Staying connected when you’re working from home isn’t always easy, but with a little effort, it will feel less isolating.
Allow yourself a brief adjustment period to deal with your new-found venture working from home. It can be a shock to your system moving from office to home, but adopting a flexible approach will help you stay both productive and connected.