Community, connection, and belonging are basic needs for most of us. Unfortunately, working remotely can hinder those needs, quickly sending you in a downward spiral to a sense of isolation, lack of goal setting, and stalled efforts in your health and wellness goals. That is why it is vital to find ways to keep yourself healthy while working remotely.
While it may feel like you must face such challenges alone, the reality is that community and accountability can help you achieve well-being and work-from-home success. It can even be woven into your daily routine. Doing so may require you to step outside your comfort zone. But a connection can be found with an open mind, a little creativity, and some effort.
Thinking Social vs. Solo
We often assume remote work is fitting only for those who identify as introverts. While that may have been true 10+ years ago, the theory is no longer valid given the explosion of tools that bridge the gap between traditional office jobs and remote work. If you enjoy the benefits of working remotely but also crave connection in your workday, here are a few ways to meet that need.
Tap into Your Team
Remote teams can offer their members peer support around more than just work-related projects and tasks. Making time to connect via video calls on platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams can foster the feeling of connection that helps keep loneliness or isolation from setting in and strengthen personal relationships. Teams often come together for everything from book clubs to happy hours to fitness meetups.
Social Media Connections
If you’re a social media enthusiast, try adding your teammates to your circle of virtual friends. With the various ways you can now configure your social media accounts, you can keep your more personal posts private while welcoming your professional peers into your social space.
Make it a point to meet in person whenever possible. Whether meeting up with team members close to you or traveling to the office occasionally, get some face time to enhance connection.
When striving to reach near-term and longer-range goals, knowing that you need to update someone else on your progress may help you get things done. Selecting an individual outside your immediate circle of family members and friends might be a better fit for an accountability partner. For example, look to a trusted colleague, peer, or someone you’ve met through community-building activities.
Anything is possible, so have some fun with finding accountability among your peers. I meet with a group of ladies via Zoom to knock out our daily workouts together. Yet we each live in different states. It’s quickly become an hour of my day that I genuinely look forward to. Technology has made connecting with others easy, so use it to your advantage.
Once you’ve established your accountability partner or group, start putting tools in place to keep you accountable to each other. Habit-sharing apps like Done or HabitShare are fun and effective ways to help keep one another on the path to success and create a sense of camaraderie.
Working remotely doesn’t have to equal being alone. Opening yourself up to the many opportunities for virtual connection and a sense of community with your peers can help nurture the social interaction you need to stay healthy and balanced while working from home.
Stacey has been a member of the TrainingPros team since 2008. She joined the team in an operational support role with a consulting, hospitality, and business administration background. Her experience working with remote teams and managing large-scale events has served her well in managing some of the company's highest-profile projects.
When she's not working to grow the TrainingPros brand or helping to spearhead the company's many initiatives in the L&D community, Stacey is regularly engaged in health and wellness activities. As a lifestyle guru who is passionate about work-life balance, she has found her zen.
TrainingPros is a WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprise.