Loneliness is a major issue for many people. Within the freelance community, 19% claim it is a top-three disadvantage of self-employment. However, this figure is significantly lower compared to regular employees, where separate research reveals more than half of UK workers admit to feeling lonely in the workplace.
But just because you work alone does not mean you are lonely. First, there’s all the stuff that goes on around your working life. For me, that’s two young children and a crazy dog who take up a huge chunk of my time, energy and patience. And that’s fine, I am grateful for everything they throw my way.
I am also grateful for the peace and quiet freelancing provides, where I can sit alone in my home, working away, without anyone disturbing me. In many ways, work provides a rest bite from the chaos of my home life.
I’m not alone, with mothers now making up one in seven of all self-employed people in the UK. Of course, the reasons behind the rise of freelance mums is difficult to pinpoint. Personally, freelancing lets me juggle my home and work commitments and pursue a worthwhile and challenging career, while sipping a warm mug of tea. While sitting down. Without watching Paw Patrol. Bliss.
Second, there’s all the stuff you don’t need to do if you regularly work from home. There’s no commute or office politics to navigate – both of which can be more exhausting than wrangling a stubborn six-year-old into his school shoes.
What’s more, by not working with the same set of people everyday, research reveals that you could develop more compassion for people outside of your usual circle of friends. Further studies also reveal that being surrounded by people kills your productivity, while those who seek solitude are more creative.
So, it looks like a little self-enforced loneliness isn’t necessarily a bad thing for either you or your work.