Working From Home: The Isolation Effect

Posted by Chris Stewart on November 14, 2014 in Graduate Support

Advice to not get isolated working at home

There are many advantages and perks to working from home. You save money on gas and auto expenses, you have a better level of comfort, and you can wear your slippers if you want. You get to be there more for your families. These are all just some of the many bonuses that a work-from-home career can offer.

Challenges of working from home

Many people, especially those in the transcription industry and those new to the transcription industry, like the idea of working at home. There are, however, challenges to working from home, and one of the biggest dangers is the possibility of isolation. I’m not saying that MT/HDSs are antisocial…the largest percent of the MT/HDSs in the industry are actually very people oriented and enjoy interacting with people. However, by working at home MT/HDSs miss out on the socialization and banter that working in an office usually offers.

The isolation effect

The risk is that when we work at home, we can fall into a pattern of “being at home after work” and our interaction with the outside world diminishes significantly. Being alone with your work is great for concentration, but after awhile people usually need social interaction. Feeling lonely and isolated can really decrease your motivation…but even worse, you could put yourself at risk for anxiety and depression.

You are now in the realm of Isolation Effect. In many ways it can be much like seasonal affective disorder, but unfortunately Isolation Effect will not improve with the seasons, it may even become worse. Isolation Effect is harder to fight because it is the opposite in some ways for your work day.  When you work outside the home, you end your day and scurry home and just want to relax. It is your home; however, when you work from home, then subconsciously it begins to feel like you are living at the office.

Tips to avoid isolation

The good news is, we know about it and we can develop individual ways of letting it take over our lives. Here are some simple ideas to try. The sooner you begin to practice them, the easier it is to eliminate or at least control feeling isolated. You may already be doing some of these things, so….keep doing them.

  • Schedule a night out with friends.
  • Run to the store at least 2 times a week just to grab a small item, but take your time.
  • Schedule an outing with your kids… even just to the park. Fresh air can do wonders for your mood!
  • If you are a CanScribe grad, take advantage of one of our weekly topic webinars. The interaction (even though it is online) can be very effective, and you can brush up on your core MT/HDS skills at the same time!
  • Schedule at least 1 hour a week just to spend time alone away from home.

If you find that you need one more thing, try my personal favorite. Just go out where there are people, smile at them and say hello. It will amaze you at how good it feels. Who knows? You might get a few smiles in return.

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