Does remote working make us lonely?

  • Ross Edlin
  • 24th Apr 2020

As a web developer, it's fairly natural for me to work remotely.
I’ve done it on and off for many years, sometimes for months at a time.
At times it’s tough, but normally it’s very productive, as long as I plan to be productive, the problem is...

We’re alone when we remote work.

This can for some be a blessing, the constant nagging from colleagues which can pull us out from our focus.
The commute to work, sitting in traffic.
Not feeling fully comfortable like you can in your own home.


Others, like me, require human interaction in order to function at 100%.

We feel, lonely.

We miss working in an office environment, it’s where we’re most productive.
Personally, I believe it’s down to laughter.

When I’m with someone, I can make a joke, I can feel my smile, I can feel their smile, this sends waves of positive emotions throughout my body.
When I feel less stressed from thinking about work 24/7, I can function better.

Total Wellness Health & Life hack wrote great articles on laughter and why it helps you be more productive.

Essentially, when you laugh your body releases endorphins throughout your body which fills you with pleasure.
This relaxes you, it makes you feel less worried and like you don’t have the entire world on your shoulders.

Endorphins are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress. They are often called “feel-good” chemicals because they can act as a pain reliever and happiness booster.

So every time you laugh, your stress levels go down.

Well... That's difficult to achieve when you're stuck at home all day alone, "remote working".

I think remote working is great, but in small doses.

We all have those days when we just want to feel alone.
But most human beings are a social bunch, we crave human interaction.

So how do you combat this?

Well, on the days I do work from home, I do the following...

I plan the night before.

Every night, I write down my tasks for the next morning, my routine, what time I get up, what I'll have for breakfast.
I also plan my break times and what I'll do in my break.
I'll plan the night before to eat lunch with someone, a family member, a friend.

I'll literally shoot a text to someone and say...

Lunch tomorrow at 1pm?

This helps me have focus and reduces stress on my brain thinking about what my day is going to look like but more importantly...

I won't be alone.

I have a designated work space

This is critical.

Our brains are wired to perceive a specific location with specific feelings.
Our bed is for relaxing and sleeping, the office is for high functioning tasks.
The living room is for fun.

So if you work in the living room or bedroom, your brain will get confused.
When you try to sleep, you'll think about working.
And when you try to work, you will feel it hard to get your brain started.

I have a morning routine

I get up like I'm going to the office; I make my bed, I shower, shave, put on work clothes and ever leave the house and go for a walk, a mini commute if you like.

Part of my mini commute is making a point say good morning to people on my route, dog walkers and older people are often very talkative and love a quick chat.

When I get back home, I go straight to my designated work space and act like it's work.

This helps my brain is many ways but mostly it's what I'm used to, my normal routine when I need to work in the office, but I do it at home.

And when all my work is finished, I leave like I'm leaving the office and going "home".

I work from Co-Working Spaces or Coffee Shops

As I write this, I'm sitting in a coffee shop.
I often leave my home and find a coffee shop when I want to focus on a task for a few hours.

Or if I need something for a day, I'll find a Co-Working space.

Co-Working spaces have free coffee, clean working environment, you can leave your stuff there all day without worry about theft and they have FAST internet.

Most of all, they have other people in Co-Working spaces who you can have a chat with while on lunch or after work.

As most of you might be feeling right now while Covid-19 has forced us into the remote life.
You probably miss that quick trip to the kitchen to have a coffee and speak for 5 minutes with a colleague.

You might even miss the morning meetings!
I know I do sometimes.

Unfortunately, while Covid-19 is around, we can't go to coffee shops or co-working spaces, but as things will change in the future, it's good to know the options.

What is your routine?

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on remote working.

Do you have a routine?
Do you think you should?
What is your routine like?
And what do you dislike?

Let me know!

With Kind Regards,