Staying Healthy While Working Remotely: Socialising
We love having the flexibility and time to be social that remote work gives us! Working away from the regular schedule of commuting to an office has so many benefits. In this post we’re sharing our staff’s experiences of enjoying remote work and socialising.
I would guarantee that I’m more social now, working from home, than I was when working in an office. One of the reasons that I don’t feel isolated or lonely is because I have wonderful clients. I speak to them on a regular basis about their campaigns, but I also love getting to know them as well. I’ve got a great relationship with my clients, and talking to them never feels like work.
I also have regular social activities and hobbies outside of work. I have a group of friends that I play board games with once a week. We’re playing Pandemic Legacy which is like Pandemic except you play over a series of games – the things you do in earlier games affects what happens later. It is incredibly fun!
I also go to a book club with friends. Each month we choose a non-fiction book about business, productivity, creativity, or something that broadens our perspectives. This month is Happy by Derren Brown. The group is made up of my amazing and brilliant female friends. I take huge inspiration from them and really value their opinions. It’s a great regular activity, not only to be social, but to learn and flex my brain outside of work.
Usually I’m by myself on my computer a lot. There’s no physical socialising (which would drive a lot of people mad), however I like to work alone. Initially it was a bit weird, because I’ve always worked and chatted with colleagues. But I realised I have no problem with my own company because it keeps me as alert as possible, and I can always chat online with the team.
Out of working hours, I like to have a beer or two with my friends. I’ve also learned over time to go out and chat with people outside of my friend zones. The principle is pretty much this, the more opportunity you put yourself out for, the more chance that you will find someone you connect with and may even be beneficial for both of you! It’s hard to get beyond the small talk but you can learn so much from a person if you really get to know them. Whether it’s the guy at the bus stop or the girl at the coffee shop, you never know if a new best friend is around the corner.
Working from home has its benefits, but of course also has a catch. One of the biggest drawbacks is the isolation from colleagues. In today’s world, it’s easy to pick up the phone or send an email or IM to someone. But, something I miss (from working in an office) is being able to have a casual conversation with someone in front of me.
It’s true that sometimes working from home bring on a bit of ‘cabin fever’, so it’s nice to have other activities that get me out of the house. I play Futsal on Monday nights as well as go to the gym regularly through the week.
Other times I like to go into the city and spend a day walking around and shopping. The flexibility to be able to do that is one of the biggest perks of working from home.
Finding time to engage in social activities was something that I found difficult when I used to work full-time in an office. But now that I work from home, I’ve got so much flexibility to be able to make plans with my friends! I’ve moved from Australia to England recently, and my group of friends here also have quite flexible work schedules, so we’re able to make plans together much easier than if we were working standard office hours. I can’t regularly see my Australian friends anymore of course, but we’ve had video calls and text chats, and I talk to my parents quite often.
My UK friends and I have been hanging out, chatting, watching movies together, walks in the park, all sorts. We’ve also gone out a few times to board game pubs/cafes, which is a great way to try new board games and enjoy each other’s company in a different setting.
Sometimes I miss having office/workplace relationships where I get to see my co-workers and chat in person. With the time difference (9 or 10 hours depending on daylight savings) it’s harder to line up times to chat. But I still have phone calls and Slack sessions with the team. I’m also considering finding a co-working space to go to at least once a week so that I can meet some more people and feel an ‘office community’ vibe!