I'm an only child who has no problem with my own company and as a freelance copywriter and journalist I’ve spent years working alone at my desk with just the Daily Politics and News at 1 for company and it doesn’t bother me at all, but a lot of people struggle to work from home.
Office working brings companionship, morale-boosting chatter, quick and easy organisational updates, dynamic team-working and a strong sense of being part of a brand identity or company ethos.
Working at home alone can feel isolating. People lose touch with their team mates, can struggle to focus on tasks and become easily distracted: not putting their usual hours in; or equally not having the clear 9 to 5.30 hours in the office, can find it hard to switch off.
Team efficiency can soon start to slip and people lose their touchpoint with that vital sense of belonging to or being part of a larger entity; the brand voice and communal drive to contribute to the wider organisation can quickly disappear.
With social anxiety high and many staff already battling stress or other mental health issues, communication is more important than ever. But pitching it at the right level is critical. Too many messages become irritating, not enough can leave people feeling disconnected.
For years I’ve been part of teams while also working sometimes from home, so here are my top tips for helping staff feel they’re still part of their team and your organisation, even if they’re working in isolation.