Don’t Let Telework Get You Isolated

October 11, 2011

Chapter 14 – Balancing Work Life and Home Life

Don’t let working from home make you a hermit. Being in the office is a chance to socialize with your coworkers. It is also a reason for paying attention to the basics like personal hygiene and getting dressed in the morning.

Socialization is a skill like any other and you have to stay in practice. You may not be the most outgoing person, but everyone needs to spend some time with other people. Make commitments. Sign up for new classes, do some volunteer work, or take up a new sport.

Vulnerability To Depression

If you don’t see other people you will get lonely and depressed. The correlation between isolation and depression is well known, and working remotely can quickly lead to depression. The risk of depression is highest during the second half of your first year working remotely. This is the time when you will settle into a routine and become less excited by all of your newfound freedom.

Make a plan for this point. Have a support system in place, through your friends and family, so you don’t get into trouble. Give yourself structured tasks outside of the house. Making the time to get away from work and socialize will make you happier and more productive.


Working alone far away from your teammates can cause feelings of isolation. This can be especially true when you are trying to solve difficult problems. Don’t keep quiet about the problems you are facing. If you are having problems with your work then share them with the rest of your team.

Karl Fogel:

“If you are working on something hard or you feel daunted the first hing to do is to go get into a live chat room and talk to someone about it or go get on the mailing list. Psychologically it is really important to not let yourself feel alone. Don’t sit there spinning on the problem. Let people know what you are working on. Let them know what’s got you stopped right now. And very very often, surprisingly often, somebody knows the solution. Even when they don’t, you feel less lonely after you’ve done it.”

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