Tag Archive | "working from home"

Working From Home – 40% Are Lonely According to Report

Many people are choosing to become their own boss and work from home, but a report suggests that many have to deal with loneliness.

The figure is approximately 40% of self employed home workers says the report, who often have to deal with isolation and the feeling of loneliness on a constant basis.

This is what I always tell people who are thinking about working from home…yes, there are many benefits for living the laptop lifestyle, such as getting up at whatever time you want, sitting around in your underpants, and working from your kitchen table, but there are also downsides that need to be considered.

Obviously, loneliness is one of those downsides, because most of the time you don’t have any co-workers to speak or socialise with, and can easily end up spending the whole day alone.

You might think it sounds great, to not have to deal with an annoying boss or co-workers anymore, and for many people it is. However, others find the isolation just too much, and is why they never really adjust to the working from home lifestyle, and ultimately, go back to work in an office environment.

So what can you do to beat loneliness if you are self employed and work from your kitchen table? Dr Rebecca Nowland, a lecturer at Bolton University who specialises in the subject of psychology said, “if we choose to isolate ourselves, we need to make time for social interaction with other people. I don’t think we generally realise how important it is for our psychological and physical health to have good quality meaningful connections with other people.”

In other words, if you work at home alone and are feeling lonely or isolated then you really do need to make the effort to get out there and meet other people.

There is even Facebook Groups dedicated to the self employed who work from home, where you can chat with people who work in similar fields to yourself and even organise meet ups in your local area.

Another idea is to take your office out of the house and rent office space or go to an internet cafe for a couple of days a week.

There is even something called a co-working space now in many cities around the UK, where you basically share office space with other similar entrepreneurs. Certainly an interesting idea, but not one I could see working. I think there would end up being too many distractions.

My advice to anyone that is working from home and feeling lonely from time to time? Go out and do something, whether it is going for a walk, to the gym or the supermarket, and then make the effort to speak with people.

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Working from home is good for your health

New figures show that the proportion of people working from home dropped slightly last year.

Research from the TUC shows that there were 3.7 million people who mainly worked from home by the start of 2010. Although the number increased by 10,000 last year, this actually represented a fall from 12.9% to 12.8% of the workforce.

The TUC believes that job insecurity and high unemployment during the economic crisis made staff less inclined to request to work from home. However, allowing employees to work from home is a cost-effective option for employers as they save money on office costs and staff can organise their workloads more effectively.

Phil Flaxton, the chief executive of Work Wise UK, said it’s sensible for individuals to be allowed to work from home sometimes as they avoid stressful commuting and can concentrate without the normal day to day distractions of office life, something that umbrella company contractors have probably known for a while!

Peter Thomson, the director of research at Telework Association, stressed that working from home brings benefits to both employee and employer and should be promoted as good for business. It tends to be praised as a family-friendly initiative and yet employers have much to gain.

It has long been recognised that people who work from home are happier and healthier than their office based counterparts and a happy workforce is more productive. We now have a National Work from Home Day [May 20th] when millions of people will have enjoyed working in their own home.

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Image: Home Sweet Home by Steve Snodgrass

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