Mar 7, 2018
A friend asked me if I feel lonely working for myself. It’s funny that question has never popped into my mind in the past three and half years. Then, I decided to sit back and to give it some serious thought.
Well, I do work from home, not in a co-working space or in a company environment. I have a remote team. We are close, but we don’t have face-to-face interactions. I am in front of my computer a lot, but I don’t do much video conferencing when I have meetings or talk to people online. When I travel to speak or visit clients, I travel by myself. I usually eat by myself. When I travel to a place I’ve never been before, I’d join a tour by myself. It does sound a bit lonely, doesn’t it?
But there are differences between lonely, isolated and alone? In my line of work, I need to constantly keep myself up-to-date and travel frequently for speaking engagements. Because of the amount of interaction with peers and attendees, I don’t feel isolated from the society. In fact, I feel information overload sometimes. So, no sense of isolation there. Let’s cross isolation out.
I am indeed alone often. However, I do enjoy doing stuff on my own. Some of my friends feel weird eating alone at restaurants. They prefer to eat in their hotel rooms. I don’t. I am totally OK eating alone and doing my own things. I see it as a date with myself. I really enjoy my own down time. So, no issue in being alone.
Now, the next question is “Am I lonely?” I make an effort to go to networking events, schedule coffee times with friends and ex-colleagues or learn new things such as dancing, new yoga postures, even just binge watching TV series. I can honestly say that I don’t feel lonely. Ok, I can check that off, too.
I saw a great friend the other day. She is a CMO and works in a very nice office. She told me that she feels very lonely in the office. I asked why? You are in an office surrounded by your team and peers. Well, first of all, she is a senior executive. Her team respects her, but not necessarily hangs out with her. Ok, I get that! Secondly, most of her peers are males. Again, they talk, but they don’t hang out. I can understand that too. I guess it can get pretty lonely when you are high up. I don’t have an answer for her. Maybe this is the price that you need to pay if you reach a certain level in the corporate world.
Even though I don’t feel lonely, isolated or alone, I do miss having colleagues around. I remembered how wonderful it was just walking down the aisles and asking colleagues to have lunch together or go out for a walk after a long meeting. It just feels good to have someone around to brainstorm with, vent or just simply talk trash. I do miss that. Again, this is the price I have to pay if I want to work for myself.
Life is not perfect. You make the best of the cards that you have been dealt.
Do you feel lonely at work? Are you doing anything about it?
This is not a marketing question per se, but it’s about marketers’ well-being.
Send me your marketing questions via Twitter @pamdidner
Be well. Enjoy your downtime. Until next time.