Working remotely can often feel like you’re in your own bubble: laptop in hand, back plastered on a chair, coffee in the other, and your dog at your feet. After the Zoom meeting, you’re still in the same location as you were five seconds before. While this scenario is meant to be anything but all doom and gloom, it would be disingenuous to sometimes envision life working at an office again. While remote work can get lonely, there are ways to manage loneliness and channel it into something fruitful and positive.
- Join your company’s business resource group
Sometimes the best resources are right in front of us. If your company has a business resource group or any sort of ‘club’, consider joining. It’s a great way to connect with other people and find like-minded employees. Business resource groups can be centered around common hobbies, and identities, or be used as a space for mentorships.
If your company doesn’t have a business resource group, you can always try to start a Zoom group. There are also communities within Reddit, Discord, or LinkedIn that you can join.
- Work cross-functionally/ collaborate with other teams
Does your role stay within one department? While this eagle-eye focus can be beneficial in getting work done, it can sometimes get lonely. Branching out and working with other team members from different departments is a great way to not only get a different perspective but to meet new people. If you find your role too demanding to work with multiple teams, try asking a coworker from a different department about their perspective on your current project. You’d be surprised to see how your project can impact the company all around, even if it’s seemingly department-specific.
- Work at a coworking space
It’s time for a new change of background. No, we’re not talking about your Zoom background here. Swap the home office for a table at your nearest co-working space with coworkers. The hustle and bustle of a coworking space can’t ever be replaced. A new change in scenery really helps in reframing work and kickstarting inspiration.
You can also pay for a coworking subscription if you find that working at a physical office helps you feel most productive.
- Host or join company events
Open Mic Night, Trivia Night, Comedy Hour…it’s time to bring the fun back to work with engaging events. If you’re looking for a great icebreaker to cut through awkwardness and get to know coworkers more, company events are it. It can be difficult to build connections if you’re laser-focused on work. There’s a time and place for work, but there’s a time and place for getting to know your coworkers. Hint: Company events *are* that time. Opt for a monthly event where coworkers can meet up and bond over a fun activity.
- Have working sessions with colleagues virtually
Sometimes it’s better to vocalize thoughts instead of letting them swirl around, tucked away in your brain. Set up virtual working sessions with coworkers where you’ll work together. Establish the task at hand and what you’ll want to focus on so the conversation doesn’t veer too off course.
Working sessions are a great way to get ongoing feedback, bounce ideas off each other, and feel a little less lonely as you’re working remotely at home.
- Start a (work) passion project
Turn your vision from abstract to tangible. Have a particular department you’re intrigued by or an idea you want to conceptualize? A work passion project is exactly that. It’s a project that combines passion, execution, and ideation.Kimberly S.
If there are thoughts on processes that could be improved or ideas you have that could be beneficial for business development or customers, vocalize them. Speak to other employees and get their feedback.
When we are too fixated on our role, it can be difficult to see the wider scope of things. Taking a step back, looking at your role, and reflecting on how it affects your company’s bigger picture isn’t just crucial for excelling, but can be the newfound motivation that keeps you going.