How do you deal with social isolation when working from home?
I've been able to meet up with friends after work once a week but what else do you do during weekdays?
Founder of Product Hunt & Weekend Fund
This is an important question as distributed working becomes even more popular. I go to Philz in the morning for a few hours to start my day to mix up my scenery and get outside my home. I'm considering joining a coworking space nearby but as an introvert, I find working from home mostly enjoyable and productive. On the tooling side, startups like Tandem are designed to address some of these challenges while increasing team's productivity and trust.
Author & Founder of Teamland
Cofounder & Head of Product at Workfrom
I do a few things... I'm pretty active on my companies community slack channel (workfrom). There are a few other remote work chat groups also (remotive, nomad list that I know of). It's nice for random interactions throughout the day, we also started doing coffee break zoom calls - anyone who is around that wants a break joins :) I also like to go to meetups, coworking ones or I go to local startup/business events that interest me :) I browse meetup.com and eventbrite every once in awhile to see what's being planned. I also follow local startup folks on Twitter to see the events they post and get involved with community that way. During the week I mostly work from home, but for 2 or 3 days I'll go to my favorite coffee shop or coworking space :) It's nice to work around people even if I'm not necessarily talking to them. Lastly, joining a local gym has been helpful for me. A small fitness group has been fun to interact with new people outside the work world :)
If you work for a fully distributed team, get in the habit of choosing a video call over a Slack chat maybe 1 out of every 3 opportunities. It's a struggle to do sometimes, but can really help build a sense of belonging and camaraderie if you prioritize it. I tend to get hyper-focused and heads-down when working from home, and honestly surprised myself with how well this works to keep the blues at bay!
Founder @ Friday.
As an extrovert, the only way I've dealt with social isolation when WFH is by being social. Specifically: - I try to schedule 1-2 coffee meetings with people nearby every week - I mix up my day, working from a coffee shop most mornings, and from home during the afternoons. For me, it's a mixture of passive social (being around people at co-working space/coffee shop) and active social (engaging in dialogue and conversation). As humans, we are hard-wired to be social. The question is, "how much social do you need?" This depends on the person and how introverted/extraverted they are. Only you can determine this :)
In order of importance to me: 1. Schedule at least one lunch a week with a friend. It's important to get some face time with the people close to you. Bonus points if they also work from home. Double bonus points if you get lunch with your significant other every once in a while. 2. Do deep work at home for 4-5 hours. Then work from a cafe that has reliable WiFi. Leave before or after rush hour, but never during. I do this 2-3 times a week. 3. Go to the gym (or however you work out) around lunch time 2-3 times a week. Use this time to break work up into defined timeframes. I like this for giving my brain time to relax or think out my current problem set more so than the workouts themselves.
Founder & CEO, Hustle Crew
I find going to a fitness class or to my gym in the afternoon really helps because I can talk to the people I see there, plus doing exercise regularly helps with my mental and physical health. I also try to FaceTime or have a phone call with a friend a few times a week as a nice way to connect with another person unrelated to work.
AI Assistant for Remote Workforce
We use a workplace community-building chatbot that finds out what's making people want to stay & engage, and offers to take action based on feedback. It's specifically designed for a remote workforce. For example, the chatbot might say "Hey Carolyn, how are you doing? Are you getting the professional development that you're looking for at work?" If I say something like "well, sort of..." the chatbot might ask if I'm interested in mentoring or if 'm interested in discussing particular work topics with others. It takes 5 clicks to install in Slack - please let me know if you'd like to know more. :) Carolyn Peer