As someone who works alone as a content creator, I always hear people saying that it is impossible to work alone, or they find themselves having a hard time working alone. This article will be about that. We will talk about if it is possible for everyone to work alone.
Working alone is possible for everyone. In fact, working alone is a skill that everyone should develop. This skill promotes independence which numerous businesses prefer their employees to have. Furthermore, working alone provides a big boost in productivity.
The time to build the skill of working alone is a big plus to your resume. In a survey, 80% of Company leaders would permit their employees to work remotely in the near future. This means that working alone, or working remotely is the future.
Thus, this article will give you points that working alone is possible. We will also answer 2 important questions when we talk about working alone. Why working alone is hard for others, and if working alone is really bad for your mental health.
Is it possible to work alone?
It is possible to work alone. The point here is that working alone is a skill that can be developed. While it may be uncomfortable at first to work remotely, this practice is very rewarding to your productivity. Because working alone is a skill, it can be done by anyone.
When I was first starting out being a content creator, it was quite hard for me to work alone.
For the first time, I don’t really have a boss. Nobody is watching me work.
Thus, I did what a first-time employee getting out of their boss would usually do. I began to procrastinate.
I believe that the problem with remote working or working at home is that we tend to procrastinate more often when we work alone
But that has now changed. I already know how to work alone and have been doing this for about 3 years.
As you can see, I was also not good at working alone at first, but it changed when I discovered how to do it.
That’s why I believe that it is a skill. Working alone is a skill that you can develop. It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert, ambivert, or extrovert. Working alone efficiently is a skill like working with your colleagues is a skill that can be developed.
And the proof that working alone is possible is that I became good at it.
But how can we be good at working alone?
The first step in getting good at working alone is to learn how to make and follow your schedule.
As I said, when working alone, you don’t have a boss or someone to force you physically to work, that’s why it is hard to start working.
That’s why we need to be the ones who would force ourselves to work. This can easily be done by scheduling what you need to do for the day.
Planning is very important when it comes to learning how to work alone.
You need to make sure that these things are included in your schedule if you want to work effectively
- How many tasks do you have for today?
- What is your the most important task for the day?
- What time are your going to work on your important tasks?
- Schedule your other tasks at different times
Actually, I made a very detailed guide on how to get better at working alone. It is a very good read if you now believe that working alone is a skill that you can develop. I placed all the things I’ve learned that make working alone significantly more effective in that article: How do you work alone effectively?
Why Working alone is hard?
Working alone is hard because we do not have anyone to tell us what to do. Usually, in an office scenario, there is a manager physically forcing us to work. However, that is not the case when we work alone. Furthermore, working remotely can get lonely since you have no one to talk to.
There are multiple reasons why working alone is hard.
One reason is that you have no boss to talk to.
We’ve already talked about this earlier.
Another reason is that it can get really lonely.
Most of us are used to having some officemates to chat with on breaks. We have people to hang out with after work.
This is not possible in working alone. You can only communicate with your coworkers on working alone if there is a conference call.
But you can’t possibly do it physically.
When this happens, it becomes hard for the person to adjust to this new reality which could greatly impact their quality of work.
When this happens, it is wise to transition from remote work slowly. What I mean is that you could start remote work once a week, then make it twice a week once you get comfortable.
By doing this, the adjustment phase of not talking to your workmates will not be as hard as completely doing remote work.
Plus, if that’s not possible, you can start working in a coffee shop to see other people. Co-working spaces are also becoming really popular for people who really work alone such as freelancers and startup entrepreneurs.
Another reason is that working alone is a skill and when you’re just starting to work alone, it can be hard to do properly.
Remember that working alone is a skill that must be developed. You can’t really be good at working alone at first.
If you are, then you’re an outlier. But for most of us, we need to develop how to do it properly.
That’s why it can be frustrating when we are starting to work from home. We just don’t know how to be more productive.
We tend to miss deadlines and fail to meet work-life balance when we start working alone.
But, take note that it is temporary as it would improve soon as soon as you’ve learned how to cope up.
I know how sad working alone can be so in the next section, we’re going to answer working alone and its effect on mental health.
Is working alone bad for mental health?
Generally speaking, working alone is not bad for your mental health. In fact, some people actually prefer working alone because of its boost in productivity. Furthermore, introverts generally prefer working alone because they love the quiet time it brings.
As you can see, working alone being bad for mental health depends on the person.
Introverts generally prefer working alone. However, I said generally because that is not always the case.
You see, I’m an introvert but it took me a while to get used to working alone.
But generally speaking, working alone is not bad for your mental health. It can get worse if you don’t fill up your social needs.
Take working alone as a privilege. Usually, people who work alone are working from home. Think about the time it will save from your commute time. To give you a perspective, an average American takes 27 minutes to go to work one way.
Then coming back and forth work takes about 54 minutes and almost an hour per day.
Imagine that amount of time you’re saving every day.
Furthermore, no one is preventing you from going to your friend’s place outside of work.
As I said, its effect on mental health only happens when you forget about having a balance.
No one is even preventing you from working in a coffee shop or co-working space.
What we actually need is balance when working alone.
When it comes to productivity, working alone also wins. In fact, a study from Stanford found out that working alone gives a 13% increase in productivity.
That means, for an 8-hour workday, you’re going to work for 7 hours to achieve the same results. Just the time savings is amazing if you think about it.
So, if you work for 8 hours every day, then 1 hour plus 2 hours from commute is saving 3 hours every single day for you to do other things that you love.
So, think about the benefits working alone gives and you’ll enjoy working alone. Furthermore, remember to have a work-life balance since it is really important that you do so.
It is completely possible to start working alone and it won’t affect your mental health.