Woman remote working at a laptop sitting at a beachfront bar in the sunshine.
Image: © Yevhenii/Stock.adobe.com

What to do when you feel siloed because of remote working

5 Nov 2021

Is remote working making you feel stuck in a rut? Change up your routine, whether that means going for a walk or becoming a digital nomad.

You don’t need to be a behavioural scientist to know that people thrive when they get the opportunity to collaborate with others. In a workplace setting, this is especially important. Team members with varying experience levels can either learn from or teach each other. There’s also the fact that we are social creatures and we need face time to hash out ideas. Sometimes Zoom meetings just won’t suffice.

Over the past year, more and more people have converted to remote working, some more enthusiastically than others. The practice can be great for workers with young children or who hate commuting. But there’s always a threat of loneliness and isolation. This can be difficult to broach with team members when you’re not chatting face to face every day or even a few times a month.

Future Human

So, what can you do when you feel siloed while working remotely? The most important thing to do is to recognise that you’re struggling. That way you can take steps to prevent the problem getting worse.

Here’s a few tips.

Go outside

Feeling like you’re stuck at home all the time, welded to your workspace, is a major deadener. A sedentary, indoor lifestyle is bad for our mental and physical health. With remote work it can be easy to let our office routines of going for a walk on lunch fall by the wayside.

Getting a little fresh air every day is not only good for us, it reinvigorates our whole outlook on things. It might be a personal thing, but there’s nothing better than a walk on a windy day to blow the metaphorical cobwebs from your mind. You’ll return to your desk feeling fresher and more motivated with your heart-rate up and your circulation reactivated. There’s also a very likely chance you’ll spot some good dogs on your stroll, too. A win-win!

Work somewhere else

If it’s the social element of things you’re missing when working from home, changing your routine can be a big help. When you find yourself resenting spending another weekday holed up in your house without any workplace banter, it’s time to take a little working holiday.

Whether that’s a week in the Bahamas with your laptop and an Airbnb or an hour or two working in your local café, a field trip can do wonders. It might not be something to do all the time – especially as cafés can be difficult to work in and the digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone.

Alternatively, check out your local co-working hub. The National Connected Hubs Network has plenty of centres all over Ireland set up with people like you in mind. Hundreds of Irish businesses are using the hubs for their hybrid and remote staff to use as a work base. For rural Irish workers, the hubs can be much easier to get to than a city-centre office.

Talk to your colleagues

Working remotely can seem like a great opportunity for companies to get themselves off the hook when it comes to caring for their employees.

But this is not the case. Your employer has a duty towards you like you have towards them. If you’re feeling unhappy at work (and remember you’re still ‘at work’ even when working from home) then confide in your boss or HR manager.

You might not be the only one at your workplace who feels lonely because of remote working. Your team members might thank you for your honesty, and it could end up bringing you closer together as a team. Arranging monthly or quarterly gatherings with your co-workers can also help you feel a sense of belonging.

Even a WhatsApp group where you can chat informally with workmates can help break up the workday. Just don’t be a meme spammer.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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