The Loneliness of the Long Distance Worker

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Is home working – working?

The Covid-19 Pandemic took nearly everyone by surprise, turning lives upside-down. The stoical British found ways to “keep calm and carry on”. Those who could, started home working. Some had to manage their children’s schooling, as well as shielding older or vulnerable family members. Not an easy option for many. 

Good to be able to keep working though, yes? Good to keep up to speed with Zoom meetings, share progress through online apps and no commuting. Great. But lonely.

For a lot of people there’s something missing. How do you brainstorm on your own? How do you maintain relationships with colleagues? What’s the home working version of shared  ‘water-cooler’ moments?

62% of us have been working from home. People of all ages are suggesting that they miss the social interaction of the workplace. ‘Going to work’ isn’t as enjoyable in this new environment. Younger workers can’t look for help from more experienced colleagues as they find their career feet.

Lonely at work

Research about home working by Totaljobs.com found that remote working isn’t good for everyone. The variety of social interactions for this group has halved since the start of lockdown. 74% of younger workers have felt loneliness during this time. More than a third of those surveyed said they felt lonely because of losing contact with colleagues. 

Over half rely on the workplace for their social interactions and miss conversations with co-workers. If you’re used to working in an open office you’ll probably feel that even more.

What’s most alarming is the number of people who haven’t told anyone that they’re feeling lonely, which is the case for nearly half of over 55s.

Loneliness is stressful and harmful especially if kept under wraps. Talking to colleagues, friends or family is important. If you can’t talk to them, there are organisations with the skills to support that are ready to help.

Moving Together

Moving Together is a project about loneliness. In it, we are trying to find out whether dancing together can create a sense of community and belonging. We are talking to people who feel lonely, recording their voices and adding music. These recordings will inspire choreography for a flashmob event taking place online. Anyone can take part. It doesn’t matter what age you are, the effect on physical and mental health could be transformative.

To find out more, visit the project page where you will also find links to support resources

Moving Together