Combating Social Isolation in Remote Working

  • 5 months ago
4 minute read.
Combating Social Isolation in Remote Working

As people are finding themselves spending maximum time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the well-being of individuals is getting affected due to this. Lack of social support, limited contact with loved ones, loneliness, and being isolated at home can take a toll on health. And if infected by Covid-19, the situation can become worse! Being  stuck in a room, following strict quarantine procedures can make it even more challenging.

Humans are social creatures. Our connections are a key to our happiness, success, and survival. When we engage with each other, it makes us feel light-hearted and adds to our happiness. Biologically, our mind releases happy hormones (Endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin) when we talk to our loved ones and promotes positive feelings. In simple words-Happy hormones= Happy you!

According to studies, poor social relationships were associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease, 32% increased risk of stroke, and degrading mental health.

Now when the hazards of social isolation are damaging, that leaves us with a question- What can we do to prevent our mind, body, and mood from reaching the deterioration level while working from home? Let’s see!

  1. Check on each other- Virtual collaboration is the light in the darkness for remote working. Schedule regular meetings with colleagues and after discussing work, spare a few minutes to simply ask how everyone is doing?
  2. Search for new ways to stay connected- Luckily, technological advances have bridged the physical gap and people have started coming up with new ways to stay connected emotionally, thus combating isolation fatigue.
  3. We are sure, by now you must have joined a new online club, or enrolled for an activity like virtual skill training, fitness class, online game streaming, etc. And if not, consider one of the stated or anything that makes you feel involved. Find a co-worker who is interested in the same activities and ask them to join it along with you. Don’t be just confined to work emails.
  4. Listen to music and also share it with co-workers - Music has healing properties. Explore good music and share your playlist with your colleagues. Ask them to do the same. You’ll definitely come across one or two songs from their list that will enlighten your mood.  
  5. Join a wellness group/circle and share your experiences- Join a wellness group/circle apart from your official workgroup to take small breaks. Share happy moments and experiences with everyone. Drop daily life tips, post a picture, take up challenges and inspire each other.
  6. Provide additional support if needed- Start noticing each other’s tone while communicating or actions while on video calls. If you find anything unusual, try talking to that person and re-confirm if they are doing fine? Catch the emotional cues and changes in behavioral patterns. A person might need help but may not come to you on their own, so you take a step or convey the same to your manager if there is nothing you can do about it.
  7. Managers to safeguard their employee’s interests- The responsibility of managers should not end after delegating work, instead, they should constantly make sure that everyone’s interests are being aligned. Celebrate their achievements, make your employees participate in virtual gigs and gatherings. Creating an employer-employee relationship within the organization is worthy.
  8. Involve the process of feedback- Most important, create a friendly feedback mechanism to identify the loops in management. Due to a lack of personal touch, employees may require extended direction and guidance. Thus, it is important to involve the feedback process to link perception and performance.
  9. A simple thank you can go a long way- This implies for both the employees and managers. Express gratitude whenever possible, even if it is related to a small task that has been completed beautifully or an extra piece of support received on management’s behalf. Just say thank you and maintain a positive relationship.

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Apart from the work dynamics, include basic habits to ease isolation effects-

  • Don’t lose contact with your loved ones- Being professional and responsible is a good thing but don’t get over-involved and cut off your social connections which are vital in your life. Talk to your loved ones over call or texts.
  • Take outdoor breaks but with precaution- Go for walks and get some fresh air, be it moving around a few blocks, hanging out on your balcony, or exercising on the terrace. Maintain social distancing and follow safety guidelines while outdoors. If at home, the most basic thing you can do is open the window and allow the fresh air to rush in.
  • Adopt mindfulness- Try to embrace the beauty of the current moment and balance your emotions by not worrying about the future. Take a moment to reflect on your physical and emotional state. Plan your day to manage work stress and anxiety.

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Wrapping it Up

Stay safe, get vaccinated if you are eligible, and take care of yourself by following a healthy diet and workout routine. Don’t skip meals between work hours and don’t overthink if the situation doesn’t seem under your control. Communication is the key, so let the thoughts out and let others help. If you are embarrassed and unable to seek any internal help, talk to a professional counselor.

You don’t have to be diagnosed with any mental health problem in order to look for emotional therapy. You can always connect to an emotional therapist on The Wellness Corner if you have concerns related to job stress, anxiety, relationship, or other areas. The best part, if you don’t want to reveal your identity, you can choose anonymous consultations and they’ll help you make positive changes in your emotional life without any third person knowing about it.

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