A few days ago I wrote up some thoughts about my experience working from home for three years at Automattic. I’ve been thinking more about this, and there is one thing about remote work that I feel is not talked about much: It’s lonely.
I’ve heard people argue that your coworkers should not substitute real friendships and family. I agree with that, but still for many people the workplace is where they’ll have the majority of their human interaction. In a standard 9-5 job, this is where you’ll spend more than 8 hours of each work day.
Not counting the people you live with, how often do you see your closest friends and family? For most of us, we see these people on weekends and special occasions. Sure, the relationships are stronger, but if you’re just counting hours of interaction it’s not that much.
So even though working from home might give you a little more time to spend with friends and family, there’s a very good chance you’ll end up seeing and talking to people less overall. And because of that you might end up lonely.