Our member Sally Brown has encouraged people working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak to create a new routine and structure to their day to help with the transition.

Sally says losing everyday interactions with work colleagues and teammates could leave a hole in people’s social life, and has offered tips to help prevent them feeling isolated.

She said: “I think the initial honeymoon period of thinking ‘great, I get to work from home, I don’t have the commute, I can spend all day in my PJs, I think that wears off very quickly and people will struggle with motivation.

Daily routine

“Apart from anything else, if you have a daily routine that’s been in place for some time, it is disruptive when that’s changed.

“What people can find is, all of a sudden they spend all day faffing around and they don’t start working until 3pm and then that leaks into the evening.”

Sally’s comments came during an interview on talkRADIO with their Breakfast Show host Julia Hartley-Brewer. The interview starts from 08.35am.

Sally, the new editor of Therapy Today magazine, said: “There’s some interesting research that describes those connections that you have with people at work.


“It’s our daily passing the time of day with people that actually contributes quite significantly to our sense of connection and community.

“When that goes, we may be surprised at how isolated and lonely we feel.

“I think there’s also the potential for anxiety, not just about how safe is my job? How safe is the company I’m working for? What’s going to happen? But also, a sense of disconnect and am I being kept in the loop? Are there things happening that I’m not part of?

“And then we almost have to artificially create a new routine when we work at home. When you have a whole day stretching ahead of you that’s not broken up in any way, it can be really demotivating.

“That’s taking a structured lunch hour, ending at a set time.”

Time to talk

And Sally encouraged people to make time to talk to people face-to-face, via platforms such as Skype or FaceTime.

“I think loneliness will be a big factor,” she said. “We’ve already seen that in the rise of flexible working.

“I know some big companies that have addressed loneliness and isolation through coaching, for instance.

“If your social life revolves around your work, and you maybe hadn’t even noticed, you don’t need to make the effort to organise things during the week because you see so many people during the day.

“All of a sudden, if you’re not seeing anybody, that’s a different thing and you may have to be a bit more proactive about putting in face-to-face time with people.”

To find a counsellor or psychotherapist who can help with some of the issues in this article visit our Therapist directory.