Remote Workers August 5, 2019

Remote workers: how do you deal with loneliness?

Lukasz Wiktor @LukaszWiktor

I've been working from home for nearly 2 years. There are certainly many advantages of remote work. However, over time, I started also noticing some disadvantages. The biggest drawback is that I don't have much chance to talk with people. I feel more and more isolated. Do you also miss the social interactions that happen in the office? How do you deal with loneliness?

  1. 2

    I quit my job 2 years ago. I can relate.

    Definitely miss those relationships.

    It’s helpful to find a hobby where you’re interacting with the same people over and over again. Compound relationships.

    Walks or workouts may not work. We can be around lots of people and still feel lonely.

    I tried improv, acroyoga and jiu jitsu. All worked but jiu jitsu stuck.

    Think the key is finding a social hobby. Building community outside of work.

    Hope this helps.

    1. 1

      Thanks Dru! I'll try to find a social hobby.

  2. 2

    I'm insanely extroverted, and just started remote working this summer! I'll never turn back from it to be honest. Its benefits outweigh the disadvantages, but loneliness gets SO REAL! But I do end up making excuses to reconnect with people I haven't talked to in a while, so I'll text or call them. And I'll give myself periods of total socialization, which is why I also do promotional/event modeling outside of my remote jobs

  3. 2

    Lukasz are you working 9-5 remote Monday to Friday?

    1. 1

      It's flexible, but yeah, kind of 9-5 remote Monday to Friday, plus the time on my side projects so there is not much time left for social activities. In my previous job I used to work 2 days in the office and 3 days from home. That seems a perfect combination, but it's not an option anymore. Anyway, I plan to quit my day job in a couple of months. I'm going to focus on my own projects, but also spend more time with people, and just enjoy life.

      1. 1

        Stumbled on this one and keen to hear how you're getting on, @LukaszWiktor :)

        As someone who's been working remotely for 1.5yrs, I think there's a couple of things here:

        • remote working is lonely, even for a guy who identifies as an introvert. Having people around helps; I used to work from my gym cafe a lot pre-pandemic.

        • we all have a need for real friendships/connection, which - as Dru was saying - develop from spending consistent time with people. I've been trying to be more intentional at spending time with friends away from my work.

        I'm currently looking at moving somewhere else in the UK for a month or two (or longer if I like it), and one of the things I'm wanting to consider is a proper co-working space that allows me to kinda tick both of the above boxes (I think more strcutured co-working spaces are more conducive to making friends vs coffee shops), I actually posted about ths here.

        Hope you're keeping well during these pandemic times; it was an adjustment for me, but I was fortunate to be living with family and having people around me; I think I'd have struggled living alone during the height of the lockdown.

        1. 2

          Definitely, real friendships/connections are what I'm looking for.

          One thing that helped me was to play squash with a friend every week.

          I also joined a small mastermind group. It gives me an opportunity to have a videocall with other founders on a regular basis.

          Best wishes with finding your place!

          1. 1

            thanks for chipping in :)

            my update:

            • playing tennis with a friend every week (snap, almost!)
            • consciously making plans to see a friend(s) at the weekend

            I'm also in a MM group which is somewhat fizzling out, so I just started a new one which I hope works out

      2. 1

        Yeah man life’s too short

  4. 2

    Hey Lukasz,

    It's certainly difficult at times.

    Working at coffee shops every now and then helps, because just being around people reduces how isolated I feel.

    Meetups are a good idea, being around people with similar contexts as mine reduces those feelings of isolation.

    1. 1

      Thanks Cameron! I also sometimes work at a coffee shop or attend meetups, but probably too rarely (once or twice a month).

  5. 2

    Discord - it's like Skype but better.
    Join a few communities and start chatting/voice-chatting.

  6. 2

    Hey Lukasz!

    Why don’t you visit Warsaw - I’m launching Indie Hackers official community here very soon :) Meetups and conferences are really a great opportunity to meet your peers and make some friendships. Give me a shout!

    Best,
    Greg

      1. 1

        I will be there. See you soon!

    1. 1

      Hey guys 👋 hacking 100km from warsaw
      let me know when this is ready :D

    2. 1

      Hey Greg! Thanks for the invitation :) I'm happy to see that the IH community is growing in Poland. I live quite far from Warsaw, but I visit the city occasionally. I'll let you know when I'm there next time.

  7. 1

    I'm never alone for more than an hour or two. I have a wife who is home a lot and three noisy children 🤩

    Working from cafes or other spots where there are other people is the quickest way I can get back "in society". Try to arrange to meet a mate for coffee while you're out, or go for a drink/dinner with someone before heading home again. Small interactions like that should get you through the week.

  8. 1

    Hey Lukasz,

    I would highly recommend finding a co-working space that you can go to at least once a week. These co-working spaces will most likely contain other remote workers who are in the same boat as you and will love to chat!

    I have worked remotely for the past 2.5 years. For the whole first year, I spent pretty much all my time in my bedroom coding. Bad idea as cabin fever set in!

    I also have catchup calls over Zoom every week with two advisors (one on the tech side, one on the business side), which has helped me massively. I compile notes during the week that I raise with them on each call; these could be business updates, product updates, feedback on new product ideas, etc. It is somewhat similar to "Beer O'Clock" updates that would take place in the office every Friday for some companies I worked for in the past. Even though the two advisors are employed elsewhere, these catchups make it feel like they are part of the team, which is cool!

    Hope this helps!

    1. 1

      Thank you for your tips, Dave!

      It's probably not the best time to visit a co-working space because of coronavirus. I'll come back to the idea when the pandemic is over. For now, I'll try to find a way to connect online through catchup calls. I believe that the massive shift towards working from home will bring new opportunities.

      By the way, how did you find my post? It's been a while since I posted it.

      1. 1

        No probs Lukasz!

        Yeh, the office space I am in closed 2 weeks ago :(

        I found it in the Remote Workers group!

  9. 1

    Working remotely since 2015.

    I do miss out on some of the good stuff but not being stuck with traffic or wasting 2 hours on commute daily definitely helps :-)

    1. 1

      Sure thing, not wasting time in traffic is one of the key advantages of remote work.

  10. 1

    Co-working spaces are great for social and professional networking in my experience

  11. 1

    It would be a real pain If i'd stayed at home country ... somehow I find it less friendly. I've moved to Asia to do remote work, with a bit of getting used to -- it's much easier to meet new people here.

    I'd recommend practicing small talk with random people. best places I've found to meet other likeminded people is gym and coworking places.

    1. 1

      Absolutely that! And not only co-working, but meetups, pub crawls, and other social events. It shouldn't necessarily be work-related, just start building your social life outside of work. Meet with fellow IT (or the domain you're working in) workers for a beer, join the local running (or other sports) community. Spend more time outside.

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