Remote Work Isolation: 9 Ingenious Ways to Feel Connected

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Isolation is one of the toughest situations mentally for someone to deal with – there’s a reason they have solitary confinement in jail! But for people working on the seas, in coal mines, as remote farmers and many other professions, they might not have a choice. Remote work isolation is truly a feeling, but what can we do to help us stay better connected with our most treasured relationships?

Managing remote work isolation without access to cell service can consist of; writing a letter, using a hand-crank radio, homing pigeons, smoke signals, satellite phones, radio scanners, flares and walkie-talkies. Prioritize social time upon returning home to stay physically connected to others.


Humans are social beings and aren’t programmed to be completely disconnected from our world and isolation can be a very scary place once those feelings start to creep in. However, there are several ways for you to regain or keep that connection to the outside world.

So let’s go off the grid together, as we delve into 9 creative ways of feeling connected during times of remote isolation.

1. Write a Letter

In today’s society – writing a letter feels a little taboo.

We are a world that is fueled by technology. Most of us find it extremely difficult to navigate life without our phones, computers, tablets or televisions. The majority of this world would rather pick up their phone and share a call, text, or email – leaving writing a letter something of the past. However, writing a letter could be a great way of keeping in contact with the outside world, especially when you have no other option.

So with that now said – go and become a pen pal with your family member, friend, or even someone you recently met.

There are so many benefits of having a pen pal. For starters, it gives you someone to talk to. If you are working a shift in isolation, after a few days away you might begin to go stir-crazy. Not having someone to talk to can take a huge toll on your mental health. Finding someone who is willing to communicate with you via letters gives you a source to the outside world. Writing letters gives you an outlet. Everyone needs someone to vent to, and your pen pal could be that person for you.

Letters allow enough time in between contact to where you are not constantly speaking to someone. It allows you to gather your thoughts, and to put them into words and on paper.

In a sense, it allows for a clearer channel of communication than what we are accustomed to nowadays. Both parties have enough time to actually think of what it is they need to communicate. Writing regular letters will also increase your handwriting ability, which could also help you in future jobs too.

2. Hand-Crank Radio

Let’s say that you are a fisherman and are out at sea, but you still want to feel connected to the outside world. A great way of having a sense of connectivity could be to invest in a Hand-Crank Radio.

Most people in today’s society more than likely have never heard of a contraption like this and may be surprised at how they operate.

A hand-crank radio is just as it sounds – a radio that is operated by turning the “hand-crank.” In return, power is generated throughout the radio. This is accomplished by a magnet and a conductive coil that is embedded into the radio.

Now, keep in mind that this isn’t a two-way radio. You will not be able to have voice contact with anyone on the other side. Instead, you have the ability to reach new stations – hearing updates of what is going on in the world surrounding you.

While you do not have direct contact, just hearing other voices could prove beneficial to you. It also keeps you from being completely shut off from everyone, not knowing a single ounce of what is going on. Hand-crank radios have saved plenty of lives. They are typically used by those out in the wilderness where there is little to no reception.

3. Homing Pigeons

It is one of the oldest tricks in the books – using pigeons. Remember earlier when I said that one way of communicating could be via letters in the mail? What happens when you are so isolated that you do not even have access to a postal service? Dating back to 3000 B.C people discovered that by training pigeons, they could send and receive messages that way.

A lot of people have been skeptical about the success of using carrier pigeons. However, studies have shown that when trained, pigeons have the capability and adaptability to find their way back to their “home”(you) – even from far away locations in which they have not frequented.

Pigeons offer a way of transporting letters. Keep in mind, training these pigeons can take an extended amount of time, so before you isolate yourself – make sure you research the best pigeon training methods.

Also, note that the biggest downfall with utilizing a carrier pigeon is that they run the risk of being intercepted. Whether that be by prey or another individual. You may have to send the exact message with more than one pigeon – if yours has not returned within a timely manner. However, it is one of the fastest ways to deliver a message without the use of technology, as birds have no competition in the air – no peak hour traffic!

4. Smoke Signals

This article is throwing it back to the beginning of communication – the use of smoke signals. This could potentially be a great way of communicating with those in closer proximity to you – but still far enough to where you are unable to speak with them verbally. Keep in mind that in order to create smoke signals – you must first make a fire. Ensure that you are using proper safety protocols so that you are not injured, and the fire does not get out of hand.

First implemented by Indians, smoke signals have been used as warnings, meetings, and others. Meaning, you can use the smoke to communicate. There is already a standard code that is set.

  • For just one puff of smoke you are alerting those around you that you need their immediate attention.
  • Two puffs of smoke signifies that you are okay, and that all is well in your area.
  • Three puffs of smoke in a row alerts the others that you are in immediate danger and need assistance immediately.

This standard code could come in handy if you need to get a message out quickly to those surrounding you.

Keep in mind that you are able to create your own meaning behind smoke signals. However, you should ensure that all parties are fully aware of what each signal means. Otherwise your “words” run the risk of being misconstrued. I know this may seem silly in retrospect, however, if you are one of those who work remotely and are isolated from the outside world – you could find this tip extremely useful.

5. Satellite Phones

Let us not confuse satellite phones with cellular phones, they are not one in the same.

Satellite phones send a signal via satellites that are orbiting the earth, whereas cell phones bounce off of towers that are grounded on land.

What happens with satellite phones is as soon as you send out your transmission – it is immediately connected and communicating with the closest satellite. It then travels through what is known as a gateway, and then directly to the receiving party’s device. Whether that be a landline, cell-phone or another satellite phone.

The biggest drawback of utilizing satellite phones is that they can be a tad bit pricey. However, if you know that you are going to be working “off-grid” for a long period of time – consider investing in one of these phones, as it could change your experience drastically.

6. Radio Scanners

Staying connected to the outside world does not always mean that you are constantly communicating with the outside world. You harness the ability to stay connected without actually being connected. Some people thrive in situations such as these. One way of remaining “in the loop” could be through the utilization of radio scanners.

The first great thing about scanners is that the FCC does not require you to carry a license to own and operate them. License fees can tend to get pricey.

Radio scanners are often used to listen to police, fire and medical radio traffic. This is a great way for you to remain in the know in your community, without actually being out in the community – or communicating with others.

First responders are generally in the loop about everything going on in the community – weather included. Therefore, listening to radio scanners could forge a connection between you and the world surrounding you.

Mirkit Radio Baofeng UV-5R MK5 8 Watt Max Power 2021 1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery Pack Analog Police Scanner, Race Scanner, Emergency Radio, fire Scanner for Home use – See it on Amazon

7. Flares

This is for my completely off-the-grid people. This form of communication is something to help you feel slightly more connected to the outside world, as well as allowing communication in the eyes of an emergency. Flares are typically used when an individual is in distress.

Flares derive from “pyrotechnics” – meaning fire, therefore you must ensure that you are being safe when using them. Flares create a bright light – bright enough to be seen from a long distance. While it in no way allows any type of voice contact, you can use flares to communicate that you are in danger.

Using a flare could potentially save your life. That is why it is my recommendation that if you are doing off-the-grid work – you should definitely have some type of flare in your arsenal. Keeping connected to the outside world is important, however, keeping a potential ‘lifeline’ with you at all times is equally important.

8. Walkie-Talkie

This is for my people who are isolated with other people surrounding them, but still far off to where face-to-face communication is not applicable.

Walkie-talkies provide a two-way form of communication. A walkie-talkie bears the resemblance of a hand-held cell phone – mounted with an antenna for reception right on the top.

In order to talk, you must hold the device up to your mouth, and press the button (typically on the side) while you are speaking. This transmission is sent to the party who has the other walkie-talkie in the set, allowing for seamless communication.

However, keep in mind that a walkie-talkies range is a short distance. Therefore, the person on the other end of it must be in close enough proximity. Otherwise, the likelihood that your transmission is received will be slim to none.

People have used walkie-talkies for years, and they are really a great and simple way of communicating. If you are isolated for work but have coworkers in close quarters – think about investing in a walkie-talkie set!

Walkie Talkies for Adults 22 Channels FRS VOX Scan LCD Display, Walkie Talkies Long Range in Open Fields with LED Flashlight Two Way Radios for Biking Hiking Camping 4 Pack – See it on Amazon

9. Visit Others

I know that this could probably go unsaid, however, I feel it appropriate to mention. One way of staying connected with the outside world is to visit others when you have the time off.

I know, it sounds exhausting after being at sea for 4 weeks. You work super hard and only get a small amount of off-time. So, you might want to take your time off and catch up on some much-needed rest.

However, if life ends up in a constant cycle of you going to work and then straight home – you will begin to feel an overwhelming sense of being disconnected from everyone and everything. This is why it is extremely important for you to make time to socialize with your people. Go see a friend, go visit some family you have not seen in a while. This will make going back to work seem more bearable and those feelings of isolation will go away quite quickly.

Keep Reading:

You see, even in the pits of isolation you can find ways of staying connected with the outside world. In our more recent society, it seems like isolation is becoming something of the norm for a number of factors; including the workplace.

People before us have been through the struggles of communication issues and have forged many ways for us to prosper. With advancements in technology, it does make life even easier than those who’ve come before us too.

So if you are here because work has you feeling disconnected, take this list and put our suggestions into action. You’ll see your feelings change in no time!

If you’re a shift worker and would prefer to watch videos than read another blog, our YouTube Channel should be able to help you out.



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts