This is a video from a Udemy course I created a few years ago to help people maximize their efficiency while working from remotely or from home. Instead of selling it as a paid course, I’m sharing the content here, for free. I hope you find it helpful. -Ron Stauffer
…that loneliness is painful, and it’s more painful than perhaps you even expected.
I’ve tried to take an optimistic tone throughout this course up to this point, but I need to be very real for a moment. I need to acknowledge something that is very serious: depression is real, depression hurts, and depression is easy to ignore and pretend that it doesn’t exist.
Working alone, all day, every day, can absolutely cause depression. It’s not a joke, and it’s not something to laugh off. And if you struggle with depression, it’s not something that you can just “deal with” or “get over.” I want to talk for a minute about a couple of tricks and tips that I have about ways to not be depressed, or at least not be sucked into depression when you’re working from home.
I’m not a doctor, and I can’t diagnose myself or anyone else with depression, but there is a sort of insidious undercurrent of depression that I think exists, if not really, then potentially, with almost everybody who works from home. This is for a couple of reasons.
Number one, it’s so isolating to work from home. When you work from home for a couple of days a week, in the springtime, maybe during maternity leave or paternity leave or something like that, working from home can seem really fun. It can seem like a relief. Or, if you have a season where your company is moving offices, let’s say, and they say like: “Oh, let’s all work from home for the next month,” and then you’re going to get back together. It can seem like a nice break, but let me tell you, working from home all day, every day, for a decade can be very depressing. It can be very frustrating; it can be very lonely, it can make you feel isolated, it can make you feel disconnected, and it can make you resent your employer, your clients, or your family.
Being an entrepreneur and being somebody who works from home is like a roller coaster. Some days it’s very exciting, some days you love it, some days you hate it. But when you work from home all day, every day, it’s just a reality. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s not like you’re just going to be able to say, at least in my case, “Oh, well, I’m going to go into the office today.”
If you don’t have the option, you can start to feel lost out at sea on a tiny little boat that no one is ever going to find. Especially as I mentioned before, if you’re working for a larger company and you’re the only person working alone, or working from your home office or working in your city, it can be really depressing if they go out of business, or lay you off, or for whatever reason, you don’t work for them anymore. You can feel like that whole network of people that you know has been taken away from you. And now that loneliness is painful, and it’s more painful than perhaps you even expected.
Ron Stauffer is a solopreneur and freelancer with over 14 years of experience running a small company. He’s extremely familiar with the loneliness, frustration, and challenges unique to freelance work and running a business of one. He started Free Soloing to help other people just like him.