social loneliness. From being compared to having the same health impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, to the UK’s focus on combatting this issue, social loneliness is seen to have a cost.147 This can get even more magnified in the remote space, as recently evidenced with the impact of the pandemic. Long-term remote, virtual, and hybrid working arrangements may work for some but won’t work for all, especially those who are extraverted and thrive with social connection.
Dr. Julianne Hold-Lunstad, as cited in Dr. Nasreen Khathi's article in Lifespeak, indicates that there are three types of loneliness: structural, functional, and relational. As Dr. Khathi indicates, "In other words, relationships need to exist (structural), fulfill an appropriate role (functional), and be mostly positive (quality) to keep loneliness at bay.”148
Remote work has proven to be isolating in nature for many, devoid of boundaries unless proactively encouraged.
What to do if you are feeling lonely:
• Develop peer relationships, so critical when working remote, as isolation can set in.
• Make sure the boundaries in your work and life are clear. Are you leaving enough time for
• Consider a new hobby or returning back to something you enjoy doing.
In becoming more effective with relationships:
• Understand the other person’s styles, needs, and priorities.
• Make a point to go out of the way to get to know each other.
• Create social activities, e.g., virtual book club, lunch time meetings, virtual co-working sprints
Enjoy the reflection!
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