Loneliness Is something that only happens to older people, right? That really is a myth that stops a lot of people from admitting they are lonely and lost in life. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been experiencing feeling very lonely the last few months. I have spent a lot of time not really knowing what to do with myself, feeling very sad, crying a lot and feeling quite lost. I didn’t really understand why I had started feeling this way until very recently.
I am normally a very positive, outgoing person and love being surrounded by people. Ordinarily, my life is quite busy, and I don’t really spend a lot of time at home. Then lockdown happened, and I, like many others had to find a whole new routine, which included working from home for the very first time. As someone who has always worked in an office environment with other people, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about working from home every day on my own.
The first few weeks of working from home were not actually too bad and I actually quite enjoyed it. I enjoyed not having the daily commute to and from work and I felt less pressure to work later than my contracted hours. When I am in the office, most days I end up working longer hours than I am supposed to, and it was nice to finish work and actually shut my laptop down at 5.00pm. I wasn’t missing being in the office as I was having regular chats and calls with my colleagues throughout the working day.
Fast forward to now and I am feeling very differently. Having worked from home for the first 12 weeks of lockdown and then being furloughed for the last 11 weeks, I have been feeling so lonely, lost and almost hopeless. Being very much a ‘people person’ I thrive and feel more energised and productive when I am around people, be that work colleagues, friends and family. Working from home, for me, was a necessity that we all had to do. I know some people have really thrived and loved the ability to work from home, but it just isn’t for me. I miss being in an office environment, I miss having my colleagues around me.
The UK Government are now encouraging people to return to the workplace, which I know for some people, will be quite a daunting prospect. However, for me, the idea of working from home for any length of time is a very daunting and quite scary prospect. Knowing how lonely and isolated I have felt since lockdown began, I do not want to carry on feeling this way. I can see how working from home has benefits in providing a better and happier work/life balance, but not on a permanent basis.