search

Remote Work and Mental Health: Strategies for Thriving in Isolation

Working remotely has its pros and cons. The remote aspect can empower you to set your own schedule, create a more relaxed workspace, and take more productive breaks. However, maintaining a healthy routine can be incredibly difficult without the structure, daily social interactions, or environmental shifts that happen when you work in an office outside your home. 

By working in an isolated environment, you can start to lose touch with co-workers, friends, and the outside world in general, resulting in compromised mental health that affects your personal and professional productivity. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be that way. 
 

There are strategies for improving your mental health as a remote worker and regaining control over your schedule. Today, we’ll explore eight of them.  

 

Strategy 1: Get out of the house in your free time while working remotely

One of the simplest and most effective strategies for combating work isolation is to remove yourself from your home office space whenever you can. Spending too much time indoors can give you a serious dose of cabin fever, but getting some fresh air and a change of scenery makes a significant difference.  

Going for a morning run before work starts, popping out for a coffee or lunch mid-break, or meeting up with friends in the evening all contribute to a clearer, more open state of mind.  

When you work remotely, you run the risk of becoming complacent and accepting that being cooped up is just part of your life now. Break that cycle by deviating from routine every now and then and spending time outside to refresh your mind.  

Strategy 2: Start a remote work chat

Sometimes, the problem with remote working isn’t that you aren’t getting outside the house as much—it’s that you simply miss being around other people. Incorporating other people into your day-to-day routine can alleviate this feeling.  

Remote work is a popular approach, and chances are, many of the people around you feel similarly isolated. Studies show that one in three remote workers find that isolation is their biggest challenge, with loneliness following just behind at 23%. Starting a remote work group chat can help you connect with like-minded people and share tips, coping mechanisms, and general chatter.   

 Strategy 3: Utilize team management tools effectively while working Remotely

If your company doesn’t use a team management or communication tool, getting through your day alone can be hard on a social and professional level. Utilizing technology to manage better communication and collaboration can make a positive difference.  

Team management tools like Trovve help employees communicate with each other throughout the day and create a digital space for sharing important data, updates, and project progressions. Being part of an online team can help people feel more connected to those around them and improve overall productivity.  

Strategy 4: Pick up a creative hobby

If you work remotely, it’s important to do activities that take you away from your screen into a more creative, open-minded headspace. This can help you tap into other ways of thinking, stimulate your senses, boost your self-esteem, and engage with yourself and others in a fresh and unique way.  

Cooking, painting, dancing, drawing, knitting, photography, and pottery are just a few examples of fun, stimulating, and, most importantly, creative ways to spend your time outside work.  

Strategy 5: Create boundaries between home-based work and downtime

One of the most challenging parts about working from home alone is that the lines between work time and free time can become incredibly blurred. This makes it hard to focus during work hours and relax the rest of the time – neither of which is good for your mental health.  

Establishing clear work and relaxation hours can give your routine more structure and allow you to experience better boundaries between these two extremes.  

Step 6: Adopt a pet

The emotional bond between an animal and its carer can positively affect mental health, soothing anxiety, and mitigating depression. A dog or cat can offer emotional support and companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness. 

If you live alone or don’t often spend physical time with others, adopting a pet can bring the necessary purpose and connection into your life and ensure you don’t feel like you’re living in a bubble.  

Step 7: Maintain healthy physical activity while working remotely

Staying active is important for everyone, regardless of what kind of work environment they operate in. But considering how much time remote workers spend in stasis, the need for fresh air and physical movement could be described as even more important than usual.  

Going for an early morning jog, outdoor Pilates class, or tai chi session in the park can help recalibrate your mindset while giving you a much-needed boost of endorphins. When you return to your desk, you’ll feel much more refreshed and ready to focus on work.  

 Step 8: Talk to people about how you’re feeling

 If working remotely is having a serious, ongoing negative impact on your mental health, don’t keep quiet about it. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it can even impact your physical health if you don’t seek help. Speaking up when you feel something might be wrong is crucial for your overall well-being and quality of life.  

Approach your manager to discuss available workstyle options and find out if there are any ways to make your routine more dynamic.  

Contacting a private therapist or psychologist to talk about what you’re going through can also have life-changing results, as can confiding in someone you love and trust.  

 Final Thoughts

Every workstyle has its pros and cons. Working remotely suits some personality types better than others, but even the most independently self-disciplined people can struggle to maintain strong mental health and sufficient productivity when working unregulated from home.  

By switching up your work locations, maintaining healthy side hobbies, engaging with people and animals more intentionally, and utilizing tech tools, you can carve out a healthier routine for yourself that benefits your life in many sustainable ways.  

FAQs  

  1. Why is isolation a problem for remote workers?
    Isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders that negatively impact your life. 
  1. What can you do to prevent feeling isolated when working remotely?
    You can take numerous steps, from using collaboration tools to getting a pet or trying new hobbies. 
  1. Why is routine good for limiting isolation?
    Routines are calming and can help to ensure you schedule your day properly to include free time and other less-isolating activities.  

Sign up now for smarter time-off management!

    Effortlessly streamline your
    day with Workday Planner!

    Your gateway to organized brilliance, made simple.
    Start a free trial today

    Book a demo