Communication and collaboration issues were not the only hurdles reported by remote workers across the country. Loneliness was listed as the most challenging problem for another 20% of the remote workers surveyed for Buffer.com’s 2020 State of Remote Work survey, making it an equally troublesome problem.
With the proliferation of delivery options for anything from groceries to office furniture, and the ability to turn in many of our assignments and projects without ever leaving our desk chairs, it can be easier than you might think to end up spending days or even weeks without ever leaving the house.
Human beings are social creatures, and we all cherish the relationships we build in our lives. Remote workers who spend the vast majority of their time working at home are more susceptible to feelings of isolation, apathy, and depressive symptoms.
A full 98% of respondents to Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2020 survey enjoy the freedom so much that they would like to continue to work remotely for at least part of the time for the remainder of their careers. Unfortunately, the sense of freedom can also sometimes be accompanied by a sense of isolation, even if you live in a busy household.
Although social events in the physical world require a little more care and planning in the current environment, that doesn’t mean that they have to be cut out of everyone’s life entirely. While they may not be the right choice for every individual, the Mayo Clinic considers small, socially distanced events held outdoors as low-to-moderate risk and notes the value of being able to be with people you care about.
Socially distanced walks–Fort Collins is home to dozens of parks, beautiful old architecture, and spectacular views. Get together with a friend or two and go for a socially distanced stroll outdoors.
Small picnics, barbeques, or outdoor potlucks–Small, distanced group events, like Cohere’s take-out taco winter picnic (pictured above) are a great way to safely infuse a little community into your life.
Drive-in movies–Drive-in movie theaters, like Fort Collins’ own Holiday Twin Drive-in (open spring through fall) are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
***Wear a mask anytime you are unable to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.
Touching base with tech
Another way to combat loneliness, even when connecting in person is impractical, is to connect through technology. Video conferencing and message platforms not only provide the opportunity to collaborate on work-related matters but also provide a way for people to get to know one another better and work together on personal goals as well.
- Casual online get-togethers–Casual online get-togethers can range from amazingly productive work sprints to purely social gatherings. You can set up a work sprint with a group of friends or coworkers own, or you can join one of Cohere community’s scheduled work sprints each Monday and Thursday. For those who are craving a full day of productivity paired with positive social interaction, Cohere also hosts a Wednesday online Ultra-coworking day from 10 am to 3 pm once or twice each month.
- Online groups and classes–Opportunities for learning and growth abound in Northern Colorado. Structured online classes and groups, whether they are business or hobby-related, give participants a chance to both interact with others and increase their knowledge.
- Meetup.com–This popular platform is another great way to find local groups of like-minded individuals that gather regularly. Fort Collins has several very active communities within Meetup, including groups like She Goes High, Shut up & Write, 1 Million Cups, and many others. While a large percentage of Meetup.com groups have moved their meetings to a video platform for the time being, many of them plan to go back to in-person meetings once it is feasible.
Looking for a stellar online motivation group? Sign up for Cotivation today, spots are limited!
Live a loneliness busting lifestyle
While having people we trust in our lives is a major component to reducing loneliness, it is not the only component. Our moods and mental health are often affected by our environment and our physical health. Here are a few things you can do to improve your mood and make you more resilient to loneliness.
- Get a little sunlight–Sunlight boosts serotonin and helps to metabolize Vitamin D, improving and stabilizing mood. Try and find a work area with lots of natural light or get outside in the sunlight a little bit each day. Just remember to put on sunblock if you are planning on being outside for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
- Walk–Not only is walking good for your muscular and cardiovascular health, according to recent studies at the University of Massachusetts, it also reduces feelings of social isolation and loneliness.
- Get enough sleep–Sleep is essential for both our physical and mental health. Skimping on sleep can lead to apathy, irritability, and feeling of sadness and loneliness. Getting enough sleep may help stabilize your mood and stave off feelings of loneliness.
Remote workers on the Front Range have chosen a vibrant and active community to make their base of operations. There are many opportunities to make both personal and professional connections both in and around Fort Collins for remote-first workers and a robust community of like-minded individuals.
Are you interested in learning more about Cohere and about Fort Collins? We’d be happy to show you around!
Sign up for a virtual or in-person tour of Cohere Coworking today in Old Town Fort Collins!
About the Author: Cohere member Penny Leigh Sebring is an experienced freelance writer, neophyte speculative fiction author, and a gatherer of information and imaginary friends.