This year working life charity CIPD1 surveyed 6,000 workers, finding that more than half (54%) worked flexibly in some way in the last year. Part of this is remote working, which has increased amongst UK workers by nearly a quarter of a million over the last decade.
Half of the UK workforce are expected to be working remotely by 2020, as this way of flexible working becomes a feature of most employer business models. Amidst this, there is one big disadvantage to remote working – loneliness.
A study compiled by the New Economics Foundation estimated that 1.2 million Brits suffer from chronic loneliness, costing employers £2.5 billion a year because of the effect loneliness has on health. Flexible remote workers make up a sizeable proportion of that figure, with this type of working synonymous with isolation.
This is where Office Freedom has emerged as a lifeline for workers. They offer co-working spaces which negate the need to work remotely from home, and which ensure people don’t become exposed to the social isolation which plagues so many Brits.
Richard Smith, Founder and CEO of Office Freedom said, “coworking spaces can help combat the issue of loneliness associated with remote working. Modern flexible office space provides a habitat that supports staff wellness and welfare and promotes a culture of collaboration, social interaction and productivity. The choice of flexible workspaces is huge, facilities are first class and there’s a wide range of attractive options for remote workers.”
Tips to combat loneliness
1. Skype meetings, emails, and Slack messages are not enough to combat loneliness
2. Just because you work independently doesn’t mean you should be working all the time
3. When you are with friends, put your phone down
4. Find a social network of people who share the same work interests as you do
5. Try to avoid too much-uninterrupted screen time
6. Set up regular support, chat, and gossip sessions with people in your sector
7. Keep at the top of your game. Go to courses and keep yourself educated about the latest developments in your sector
8. Social isolation breeds further withdrawal. If you’re feeling down and notice you haven’t gone out in a while – make yourself get out there
9. If you’re working from home, change things up. Find a café, library, or co-working space where you increase the chances of running into someone with similar interest.
10. Take charge of your calendar and make social engagements as important as work obligations.