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By Shimron Singh | February 13th, 2023

Dear Lulu Jeh,

I fear that I have gotten so comfortable with working remotely, that I’ve now lost all my social skills. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love working remotely. It means that I have a flexible schedule, increased productivity, and more time to myself but I feel like I’m just missing something. I hated going into the office, but I’m missing the human interaction part of it.

I’ve got some great colleagues that I get along really well with but they don’t live in Hong Kong. Most of them live in Singapore, South Korea, and India, meaning no one is actually here to hang out with me after work. I absolutely dread the idea of on-site jobs and hybrid roles but I don’t know if that is what I should be doing to fill that missing void. I feel lonely and I can see it’s starting to have an effect on my mental health. How can I avoid it all and still have my remote job?

— Lonely Nomad

Dear Lonely Nomad,

Your fear is completely valid and this is a common dilemma for most remote workers. Working remotely has become such a sought-after perk since and after COVID but most of us have now gotten so used to being comfortable in our bubble. There’s nothing wrong with that but being lonely can also heighten our feelings of anxiety and depression. However, I’ve got a lot of tips and tricks that may help you out in this situation without losing your remote job.

I know this sounds cliché but it’s so important to go on walks, whether it’s during your lunch breaks or after work. This can help you feel like you’re breaking away from the routine of work and regain a sense of calmness when you get back to it. Maybe try that new lunch spot you’ve been so eager to go to. It’s the little things that matter.

Also, if you get along with your colleagues really well, it may be worth getting on a call with them after work and virtually hanging out with them. You’d be surprised how many people do this! Grab a beer and chat about things outside of work, and maybe if things go well, you can all plan to meet up in real life at some point.

If you’re looking for that quick real-life human interaction fix, there are so many co-working spaces across Hong Kong. We’ve got The Hive, MyBASE, Metro Workshop, and Mustard Seed. The opportunities are endless! It’s a great way to meet new people, network, and join new events you never knew about.

The choice is yours young padawan.

– Aunty Lulu

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