Working from home isn’t new, but it is certainly exploding in popularity — particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remote work has a number of perks. Workers enjoy the freedom and flexibility to work from their houses or apartments, companies can save money on their operating costs by scaling down the size of their offices, and countless people can eliminate dozens of hours a week spent commuting.
The problem with working from home is that it can get lonely. Virtual coworking is one way to combat the isolation and loneliness that accompanies remote work.
At Remote Hustle, we offer Virtual Coworking events every Wednesday at 10:30 am PST / 12:30 pm CST.
The Problem with Isolation for Remote Workers
While avoiding office politics and water cooler gossip certainly makes for a more productive day, working from home does present some unique drawbacks. Even if you’re not having to interact with obnoxious and difficult coworkers, you’re also not able to interact with the ones whose company you enjoy.
Going days without communication with other professionals isn’t great for one’s mental health. While remote workers might be around their housemates, family, or neighbors, it’s not quite the same as intraoffice interaction.
Some remote workers cling to social media to combat isolation and loneliness, but social media isn’t the best substitute for the human interaction professionals need. Not only can social media put a dent in your productivity, it won’t connect workers with other professionals the way that in-office interaction can.
The Solution? Virtual Coworking
This is where virtual coworking comes in. Virtual coworking, especially while millions of people are self-quarantining to slow the spread of COVID-19, can help assuage the strain on workers’ mental health.
Virtual coworking is made possible through platforms like Google Hangouts and apps such as Work Club and Zoom. Some benefits of virtual coworking include:
- Decreased feelings of isolation and loneliness
- Increased accountability
- Improved motivation and focus
- Maintain connections with like-minded professionals
Ways to Cowork Virtually
If your current employer doesn’t offer virtual coworking opportunities, you might want to suggest implementing a remote co-working program to your superiors. Just meeting with your workmates virtually on Zoom or Google Hangouts an hour a day could do wonders for morale.
Freelancers and contractors who work with multiple companies or those whose employers don’t want to implement a coworking program might benefit from Work Club, which offers in-person co-working meetups along with virtual ones. With Work Club, remote workers can:
- Meet one hour per day on Google Hangouts
- Co-work with small groups up to six people
- Work and socialize — work club meetings blend intense work sessions for maximum productivity and dedicated times for chatting
If Work Club interests you, click here to sign up. There are free trials available along with different membership packages.
As I mentioned above, Remote Hustle also offers weekly coworking sessions for all remote workers, freelancers, and work-from-homers, even if you just have a couple hours of work to do!
We meet for two hours, introduce ourselves, and take a short break in the middle to move around for a minute and update each other on our progress. Sometimes our sessions start with a quick stretch or meditation led by one of our incredible Remote Hustlers! Get more info about the recurring event here.
Although working from home — especially for newly-remote workers — can feel like uncharted territory, professionals should strive to replicate the positive aspects of an in-office workplace at home.
Maintaining regular interaction with other professionals is important for your mental health, productivity, and your career. If you’ve yet to look into virtual co-working, now’s the perfect time!