Created: September 07, 2020 10:43 PM
(ABC 6 News) - The coronavirus pandemic is turning our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms into our personal work cubicles and keeping us physically apart. Now, a new 2019 Gallup poll found 21% of remote workers listed loneliness as the biggest struggle.
"We're all social animals," said Dr. Craig Sawchuk, Mayo Clinic psychologist. "But some of us, just by personality traits or characteristics, may have a stronger drive for that."
Dr. Sawchuk said getting into a home work routine can help you feel less isolated but it doesn't hurt to change it up with a new hobby or activity to avoid boredom. Switching work environments outdoors or in different spaces can help, if possible.
More people are also turning to pet adoptions to cope. He also suggests finding ways to get in some physical activity due to restricted movement, along with having healthy eating and sleep habits.
While some people prefer to work from home because of convenience, Dr. Sawchuk said it's still important to interact with friends and loved ones outside because different people may fit different needs.
Bosses can also step in.
"How things actually work in the office do not 100% translate over to how they actually work in the home offic," Dr. Sawchuk said.
He said managers can set flexible and reasonable expectations, check in as a group, and set an open door policy. Without proper support, loneliness can lead to depression and affect productivity or concentration. Ultimately, creating more problems at work.
Younger workers may also be more susceptible to challenges because of lack of life experience and development.
The threat of the coronavirus is far from over but Dr. Sawchuk said there's always help and treatment available. Work from home will be the norm for many workplaces after the pandemic.
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