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9 Ways to Feel Less Lonely When You Work at Home Alone

Abby Slutsky has been working at home for many years. These ideas have helped her stay connected to others even if she works at home.

When you work remotely, you can work from anywhere, but you may feel lonely at times.

When you work remotely, you can work from anywhere, but you may feel lonely at times.

Working at home has many perks. Your commute is eliminated, so traffic is a thing of the past. You can work in your pajamas (or at least dress casually) and probably manage to catch an extra hour of free time or sleep. Additionally, your workday may be a little more flexible. Perhaps you can go shopping during lunch or occasionally structure your day so you can end early. Maybe you can work from another location—like somewhere with a warm climate during the winter.

Nevertheless, working at home has some downsides. You have to be motivated to do your work even though you may be surrounded by distractions. Additionally, especially if you live alone, you may begin to feel isolated. Most people crave human contact, and if you have relocated for your job, your co-workers may be the bulk of your socialization. Therefore, you may be wondering how to feel less lonely while you work at home.

The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

AdvantagesDisadvantages

No commute

Distractions

Casual dress

Little interaction

Ability to work while traveling

Feelings of isolation

Potential for more sleep

No workplace perks

A dog can provide company and when you walk him or her, you may meet other pet owners. Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

A dog can provide company and when you walk him or her, you may meet other pet owners. Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

3 At-Home Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Isolation

There are several things you can do inside your home that will make you feel less lonely. You do not have to physically see people to alleviate loneliness.

1. Get a Dog or Cat

There is something about having a four-legged friend in your house or apartment that is likely to make you feel less lonely. Animals offer love and comfort. Additionally, they make noise. Your home will not feel as lonely with the rustle of a cat walking by or a dog that barks excitedly when they see you.

Additionally, you can have fun training your pet. If you have a dog or take your cat outside, it is likely that people will strike up conversations with you. In fact, in my neighborhood, many people walk their dogs at the same time, and it seems like there is sort of an unofficial dog-walking club. Dog owners seem to become friendly with the owners of their pet’s friends.

2. Carve Out Time During Your Day to Talk With a Friend

Catching up for even a few minutes can help you feel less lonely. If you enjoy gaming, consider arranging a weekly gaming night. One of my sons does this, and it is an excellent way for him to connect with his college buddies. He plays and chats, and it feels like he has had an inexpensive night out with them.

3. Keep Yourself Busy When You Are Not Working

Many hobbies reduce loneliness. Read a good book, take up knitting, make a gourmet meal, or learn a new skill online. Consider learning how to play an instrument. Even if you cannot afford lessons, there are cheap or free lessons available online. When you keep yourself occupied, you have less time to feel lonely.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, engage with your community, and reduce isolation.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, engage with your community, and reduce isolation.

6 Out-of-the-House Ideas to Prevent Loneliness

In addition to the changes you can make at home, there are things you can do outside of the house to reduce work-from-home isolation. Here are a few ideas.

1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a wonderful way to interact with strangers and can help you feel less lonely when you work from home. It can give you an internal, fulfilling glow to help someone with a phone call or virtual interaction.

Look online to see what virtual or in-person volunteer opportunities are available. Some may require training, but you may find new friends as you get involved in volunteering. Call your favorite local organization or check out the opportunities at Volunteer Match.

2. Work Outside Your Home

Working remotely does not mean you have to work by yourself inside or at your house all day. Consider moving your computer to a terrace or deck for an hour or two. Work in a local coffee house or a supermarket that has an eating area. The change in scenery and the ability to see other people as you work can lessen the isolation of working at home.

3. Exercise

Join a gym or get in the habit of taking a daily walk. You are likely to see people as you exercise, and the movement will refresh you.

4. Play a Sport or Join a League

Some sports allow you to be socially distant as you play. Consider trying golf, tennis, or pickleball. You may have some conversations when you play, but these sports do not require close contact. If you do not have a buddy to play with, consider looking online for a group or league that partakes in the sport you like.

5. Schedule a Bi-Weekly or Weekly In-Person Team Meeting

Just because you are working at home does not mean that you cannot schedule an occasional team meeting with your co-workers. Meet for lunch or plan an event that lets you connect with each other.

6. Start Your Day the Way You Did When You Worked at the Office

If you used to always stop at the coffee shop on your way to work, consider getting dressed and grabbing a cup of java a couple of mornings a week. You will start your day around people and will probably interact with some of them while you wait.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Abby Slutsky

Comments

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on August 17, 2021:

Thanks so much for reading.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 17, 2021:

These are some great tips and helps. I have a number of hobbies besides my art to keep me busy. I find them to be a godsend. Also, I have a little dog who jumps up beside me and wants to go for a walk at random times. They almost always are times when I'm stuck anyway so it's a welcome distraction.

Blessings,

Denise

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on August 17, 2021:

Thanks so much for reading.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 17, 2021:

I have some family members that work from home, but I am retired. They seem to do well. My son takes frequent short walks, and I think that helps him. I like all of your suggests, Abby. This is a very good article.

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