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Remote Work Can Make You Feel Isolated

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At times, you can feel a disconnect between you and your team if you work remotely. You’re not face-to-face, so how can you still have team spirit?

We’re seeing more and more companies offering the ability to work from home. It’s more cost effective and can end up being beneficial not only for the company, but for the individual as well. There are definitely pros and cons, as Robby Slaughter explained in this infographic about remote and office workers. What was the biggest takeaway?

Remote Workers Say They Get More Done

The first big number on the graphic is the claim that “91% of remote workers assert that they get more done outside of the office.” Don’t read too much into this. After all, it’s a survey of 500 people who work remotely. You have to think that most of them would prefer their current arrangement, so they are going to say that they are more productive out of the office.

But at the same time, there’s tremendous power in not having to go into work. You save the time of the commute, the cost of professional clothes, and you avoid the interruption factory that is the modern office. For lots of people and lots of reasons, working remotely just makes sense.

There are downsides, though. The biggest one would be the fact that you can feel pretty alone. Office workers do have the ability to interact with each other. Humans are generally social creatures so being tucked away in a room, alone, all day, can start to make you feel like Jack from The Shining. Going Concern has come up with some ideas that are pretty interesting. Thankfully, these are some pretty simple tips that you can put to use in order to avoid freezing to death in a maze.

isolation

© Flickr user Todd Barnard.

1. Use Technology

We’ve talked before about different technology to use that will keep you engaged with coworkers. The first option that Going Concern mentions is called Slack. I personally use it and let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing. It’s so simple to use. Whether using the chat function or simply just one place to upload documents, it keeps everything easily searchable with different channels to use.

2. Have Fun

Generally, remote workers don’t really get to go on office outings. Sometimes, they may even be forgotten for holiday parties. It doesn’t have to be this way for you, though.

“It’s easy for remote workers to feel isolated, and without a way to build camaraderie, it’s easy for everyone to go their own way instead of pulling together and working as a team,” says Patti Scharf, Co-Founder and COO of Catching Clouds.

You can send out emails to your team, encouraging everyone to get involved. Maybe make fun little getting-to-know-you polls. You could even create an area for workers to play some online games together. There are tons of options out there but one that I personally have used is ASO Brain Games. Be warned, though. It’s super addictive!

3. Avoid Frustration

In the end. there’s only so much you can do to foster good relationships with your coworkers. It’s really up to management to enforce good practices and encourage communication.

“It can be very difficult to integrate remote workers, because that essentially implies a hybrid model,” says Caleb Stephens, Controller at Automattic. “Hybrid models can be really hard to pull off if they aren’t functionally aligned.”

So what does this mean for you? If you’re not feeling involved as a remote worker or maybe you’re an office worker that feels disconnected, it may be time to dust off your resume and look elsewhere.

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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