I will not go quietly quitting into the night
September 22, 2022 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm curious how you or others have managed the social aspect of moving from a high-pressure/always-on job to a very low-pressure environment with less connection? How do you fill your social cup from Monday-Friday, 9-5?

Long story short, I used to manage a big busy department, 30ish people, operating on a 24/7 schedule. I am now in a new position (same company but different department), where I am an individual contributor. I'm working from home about 75% of the time — the office is okay, but it is far away and not conducive to this social connection at all. I am lonely and bored out of my noggin.

I joke, but is this what Twitter is for? Are there groups I could join? I wish I could enjoy the solitude but as it turns out, I am not this person in my working life. This is particularly interesting for me to explore now as in the coming months I may be reducing my occupational hours due to an international move, and worry that it may become worse if I don't know how to tackle the alone feels.
posted by socky_puppy to Work & Money (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How about a coworking space? Many have have shifted their programming mix towards more socializing and events for remote or partly remote workers, from what I’ve seen.
posted by michaelh at 8:44 AM on September 22

This is a small thing, but I keep up with my colleagues on our internal messaging system at least partially by posting a trivia question every day for them to respond to. I'm not suggesting you become trivia person at your work, but having some kind of recurring daily *thing* that engages people in chat about non-work things can help.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:52 AM on September 22

For me, I find I need to schedule more social stuff outside of my workday. I enjoy digital interactions and have formed important friendships online over the years but in general, online interaction doesn't fill the same need for me as in-person, and I seem to need some minimum amount of in-person socializing, if not every day then at least a few days a week.

I'm a moderately introverted person and I've always prized my alone time, and I still do spend a fair amount of time hanging out alone. But since I started working from home (I also live alone) I notice a need for socialization that I guess was getting met by work interactions in the past. So, I go out to lunch, I go out for a beer after work, I sing in a choir, I buy tickets to events so that I "have" to go when they roll around. I've been thinking about skipping out of work early one day a week and picking up a late-afternoon volunteer shift at my local food pantry.

(And to make more time/save energy for that kind of stuff I try to get my home chores done during the work day - emptying the dishwasher/putting in a load of laundry doesn't take any more time than office cooler chit-chat.)
posted by mskyle at 9:34 AM on September 22

Yes, this is what social media is for (including Metafilter). Alternatively--new job.
posted by kingdead at 10:49 AM on September 22

You can take the time to do social events in work, too. If you can manage an hour for lunch, or better an hour and a half, then go out for lunch and meet a friend, whether work friend or otherwise. It helps break up the alone time. Ditto afternoon coffee. Stick the block in your calendar to make sure no one has a meeting they want to put there.

When you move internationally then it might also be useful to find e.g. expat meet-ups, and you can research expat boards online beforehand (I used to use expatica back in the day, but it's country dependent what works).
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:05 AM on September 22

Hi. I hate working from home. I asked a somewhat-similar question and the answers were very helpful.
posted by kimberussell at 11:22 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Personally I would be spending the time grinning widely and enjoying the silence, but my more social friends tend to keep two slack channels open — one for work-friends and one for non-work friends — and have a low-level rolling group conversation all day.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:50 PM on September 22

I had the same problem and eventually quit the job for a position where I go into the office a few times a week. It was honestly too depressing and too boring for me and try as I might I could not adjust.
posted by winterportage at 6:43 PM on September 22

What about organizing a mentoring program at your company, or taking on a role in a professional association?
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 8:46 PM on September 22

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