The Unexamined Life

Is Remote Working Linked To The Rise Of The Loneliness Epidemic?

The last decade has certainly seen a shake-up in terms of how the traditional employee approaches work, what with the gig economy making a significant rise that allowed more people to work remotely and handle their own time, as opposed to the usual 9-5 schedules.

In fact, a recent survey estimates that around 16 percent of Americans (26 million people) do remote work, with the numbers only projected to keep growing from here on out, what with technology allowing people to work anywhere with ease. Add the fact that today’s generation is shying away from the usual 9-5, it’s easy to see why remote work or “work from home” has gained a significant increase.

But along with the rise of remote work came the rise of loneliness as well, with a recent study revealing that nearly half of Americans feel either left our or regularly isolated. In fact, the numbers has increased so much that it’s practically double the number from decades ago.

With that in mind, is there a link between the two?

Per experts, it’s hard to tell. This is because while remote work has a tendency to make a person more isolated, the people who prefer remote work oftentimes do so because it will give them more freedom to meet up with friends or socialize with their circles or “live life,” so to speak.

However, it’s also a fact that remote work can be quite lonesome on its own, which is why it could also be a factor to the loneliness epidemic.

“Given that humans are gregarious by nature, frequent in-person contact is essential for thriving and feeling connected. A great deal of research continues to support that those who have higher levels of face-to-face interaction are less likely to experience feelings of alienation and loneliness,” Carla Marie Manly, a clinical psychologist, said.

Ultimately, however, it all depends on the person doing remote work. Introverts, for example, only need a few doses of socializing every week, while extroverts don’t easily run out of energy to mingle and talk.

Nevertheless, remote work doesn’t always mean that you are alone. And per experts, lonely people who do remote work would benefit from working outside, such as in coffee shops or coworking spaces for a couple days a week. This way, people can have the benefit of creating a form of community, even if they’re not naturally social.

Work At Coffee Shop A balance between our professional and personal lives is essential for all of us to live better, happier lives. Macdongtran / Pixabay

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