Post # 1
I have a wonderful job that affords me the flexibility to work from home or a very nice office space. However, the reason I can work from home is because the other members of my team are all in different locations across the country. None of us have face to face interaction with each other more than once a year. Our communication is primarily by email and an instant messaging system. We do communicate by phone as well but mostly for formal conference call type meetings.
Lately, I have found myself becoming somewhat depressed from lack of in person human interaction. You might say “then why don’t you go into the office where there are people”, but unfortunately, not many people are in my office in general (they also work remotely) so I fail to get in person interaction there as well aside from the “hellos and how are you” from the administrative folks.
Any suggestions from others in a similar situation on how to lift your spirits when your work relationships are primarily online/virtual?
Post # 3
@sal5011: I’m in the same situation and I’m actually on antidepressants now for the anxiety and depression it caused me. I counter the lonliness by chatting with people on here and some other forums. I also adopted some guinea pigs who I play with when I get home. Knowing they’re waiting for me and happy to see me helps a lot.
Post # 4
I used to be in the same situation. I was required to be in a windowless office for 9 hours a day while my other office-mates got to work from home because they were more senior. I saw the mailman once a day and other than that, I saw no one. I spent lots of time on forums like this, and while it helped a bit, I got increasingly depressed. I stopped working out, starting eating out more because at least then I could interact with someone — even if it was just the waitstaff.
Ultimately, I ended up quitting because I just couldn’t handle it.
Post # 5
@beeintraining: I have also gained weight as a result of this situation! I have gained over 20 lbs. in the past year (started this job about 1.5 years ago) and find myself using food as something to look forward to during the day, getting snacks when I’m lonely, etc. Everyone of course tells me that if I exercise I will feel better, but I am so unmotivated from feeling depressed….I find myself getting home from work on the nights my husband is working late and sitting in front of the TV.
Post # 6
@sal5011: While I’m not in a very similar situation, I can definitely relate. I recently transitioned from a very fast-paced Guest Services role at a popular Orlando theme park where I saw at least 15 (usually more) coworkers daily and many hundreds of guests to an office manager at a church where there are a maximum of eight other people in the office (usually fewer) and I can go an entire day without having more than five words spoken in my direction.
I agree with PP about a pet, I have a cat, and snuggling with her definitely brightens my day. A lot of people say it’s not great to unleash all your angst on your SO, so try to find a friend (one of your bridesmaids?) or family member you can vent to. Have a coffee date with them or just skype and each rant it out. I don’t know what your SO does, but scheduling time with him/her can help too, pick a special night to go out and enjoy each other’s company. That definitely lifts my spirits.
ETA: I know I’m gaining weight too from all I eat. I stop at the place across the street for coffee and a donut (or more) in the morning because they’re so nice and always talk to me and then I go out for lunch so that 1, I can get out of this chair for once and 2, I can actually talk to someone.
Post # 7
I worked in child care before I got pregnant (20 co-workers and about 150 kids). Now I don’t work, and I get SO lonely at home alone all day!
I would DIE without the gym! I have “gym friends”. And WeddingBee. I would go crazy without the ladies here and in my birth group!
Post # 8
@sal5011: YES. I ended up gained 40 pounds over the course of two years. I had two dogs and a wonderful SO (at the time) at home, as well as a gym in my apartment complex. I literally didn’t have to go outside at all to work out and I still couldn’t get the motivation. Good luck!
Post # 9
I am in a similar situation. I work from home mostly since my office is around 70 miles away. Do you have the option to occassionally go into the office? I go in about once a week, and it helps a lot.
Do you use Skype or any sort of instant messaging software? I am always chatting with my co-workers via IM. It may or may not be work related. My team is all over the country so it is a way for us to get to know each other. We are also on a VOIP phone system so each of us is a 4-number code away.
I also recommend just getting out of the house. It is so easy to not leave the house for a week.
Post # 10
I have one more thing I wanted to add. I run a lab by myself and when I’m away from the computer doing repetitive tasks for hours at the bench I listen to books on tape. It keeps my mind occupied and it’s kinda like someone is talking to you. I find it interesting that everyone in this situation has gained weight. I myself have gained about 25 pounds in the last year and a half (since I got this job) and I’m struggling to find my exercise groove again as well. I have to say though, the meds have helped me alot and I have more energy now.
Post # 11
@Cluelessbride10: Yes, I do have the option to go into my office but hardly anyone comes into the office so I am still alone there as well. Talk about all dressed up and nobody to talk to! I used to dress very professional and stylish when I worked with a big group of people. Now I wear the same black pants and cardigans over and over when I go into the office because there is no one around to even notice what I’m wearing.
Post # 12
@sal5011: Can we switch jobs? I’m stuck with people all day and I hate it. I’d love to left alone! It just depends on your personality type I think. If it doesn’t work for you, perhaps you can switch roles/companies?