Social isolation in home office – Work Safety
The Coronavirus has forced many companies to switch to home offices overnight. While for some companies remote working is a longstanding practice, it proved to be a significant challenge for others. In particular, the well-rehearsed work processes such as joint meetings or face-to-face discussions disappeared from one day to the next and were replaced by telephone and web conferences. Collaboration now takes place exclusively remotely. But what effect does this social isolation have on our mental health?
Social isolation in home office – What are the implications?
At the end of 2019, remote working was considered a practical working model, but it was more likely to be tested by experimental startups than by established large companies. Today, this location-independent work is a risk prevention strategy. Many employees are so happy in their home offices that the desire for telecommuting persists even after the crisis. In particular, the tremendous scope for action and the flexible working hours ensures increased job satisfaction, which at the same time leads to better motivation and performance.
In addition to all these positive points, the negative factors that come with working in a home office should not be ignored. Working from home means that internal company information is lost more quickly. At the same time, employees may feel less connected to the company. Often, telecommuting also leads to a situation where leisure time and work are no longer adequately separated. More and more people are working overtime from home.
Behind all these aspects lurks the danger of social isolation. The lack of human interaction with colleagues leads to loneliness and depression. Here, it does not depend on the age group either. Social isolation can affect both older and younger people with various negative consequences on mental health. Side effects of teleworking are the significant increase in stress level and related decrease in job satisfaction. 
Tips from our team against social isolation in home office
Lena’s tip: Room change
„Living and working in the same house was a big challenge for me at the beginning. The feeling of seeing the same four walls from morning to night and not being able to switch off weighed heavily on me. But what I learned after a few weeks is that a change of perspective within your own four walls can work wonders. Whether it’s in the study, the kitchen, or on the balcony, experiencing a different work atmosphere helps me overcome the feeling of isolation and loneliness.“
Isabelle’s tip: Regular virtual meetings
„I first had to get used to the home office. But it turned out that everything is just a matter of time. Just as you organize your workday individually in the office, you should do the same at home. You just have to dare to rethink. Since my life in a 1-room apartment can be lonely, the regular virtual meetings help me. Especially the weekly team meetings create an atmosphere of connectedness. But video conferences scheduled after work are also a great way to get to know your colleagues better, making teamwork easier.“
Saul’s tip: Fresh air
„So that I don’t get cabin fever when I’m working from home, I try not to spend my breaks within my own four walls. The fresh air and daylight act as a mood booster and increase my productivity. Another tip is to pursue your hobbies after work. I like to do sports, go for a run or ride my bike. This is the best way for me to switch off from work and recharge my batteries for the next day.“