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The negative corollary to the benefit of working from home and having more time and flexibility is that work and home are more entwined. Many remote workers report difficulty detaching and stopping work at the end of the day. When you work from home, it’s easy for work and personal time to blend together, and many remote workers report working longer than if they were in an office—up to 43% more.
cautionIt’s not as easy for remote employees to maintain strong social connections with work colleagues, which can cause feelings of isolation. Distribute Consulting notes that isolation isn’t necessarily about being physically isolated:
We find that remote work isolation is more informational than it is social. Meaning, workers don’t miss sitting next to someone; they miss having access to someone. They miss being able to spontaneously ask a colleague a question, or celebrate a small victory, or brainstorm a solution or a problem, or even just chatting about weekend plans. If remote workers are craving some daily physical interaction, that’s where social hobbies, coworking spaces, and dedicated relationships with friends and family can be utilized.
Avoiding loneliness (or dealing with it when it does crop up) requires a proactive approach—you need to take the time to connect with colleagues, friends, and others, and to protect your mental health. More importantly companies must do their part to encourage healthy behavior, through both values and policy.