After a month or so of working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the novelty of being able to work in your pajamas might be starting to wane, revealing a problem that a lot of us can fall prey to: loneliness.
The Dark Side Of Working From Home
For some, working from home is a dream come true since it means that they no longer have to bear hours of commute or putting up with office politics. For most, however, it’s definitely a messy transition, given that the majority of us are used to routine-based 9-to-5s. Per studies, this can lead to loneliness.
Of course, workplace loneliness is also possible even if you’re in an office. However, taking that scenario to your home just increases the likelihood more.
“If you’ve been working with people for a while and had that connectivity and face-to-face meetings and were used to that work environment, and now suddenly working at a distance with little connectivity, it really creates a huge problem. It’s like being on a remote island,” Ben Fanning, author of “The Quit Alternative: The Blueprint for Creating the Job You Love Without Quitting,” said.
This could lead to problems, given that people suffering from loneliness can become less effective workers.
“The lonelier you are, the worse you will perform. You become less effectively committed to your organization,” Sigal Barsade, professor of management at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said.
What You Can Do
Per experts, loneliness requires social contact the way hunger demands for food. However, since everyone is mostly preoccupied or are already fighting their own battles, make sure that you plan ahead. Furthermore, phone calls are also better than instant messaging since they can feel more personal and connected.
For managers or team leaders, regular check-ins and making sure that everyone on the team is connected is also critical and can make sure no one feels left out. Host meetings but make some time for socialization and just catching up.
This is a battle that all of us are fighting so no one should get left behind.