Yes and no (that’s not a very useful answer, I know!).
I do work alone in that I’m the only person working on my project, so it’s up to me to design and carry out my experiments (with a bit of advice from my boss). But I often discuss my work with other people, and they discuss their work with me, and sometimes we realise there are things we can do to help each other with our respective projects. So in that sense I sometimes work with other people.
And I’m definitely not physically alone at work: there are 10 of us in the lab, all working in the same room, so we chat with each other a lot during the day… it would be very lonely otherwise!
No, I don’t work alone. Sometimes I will do parts of a project on my own, but usually lots of us work together as part of a big team. Working with other people, and always having someone around to talk to about my work is one of the things I enjoy most about my job!
Most of the time, yes. I have my project and I have the freedom to decide how to investigate it. However, you can never do this work entirely on your own. For example it’s important to discuss your results with your supervisor or your colleagues to get feedback, because you can always get good advices from people that have different point of views. In addition, often I have students to look after and in that case I spend a lot of time with them to train them to do the experiment.
Doing a PhD usually means a bit more ‘alone’ work than if you were working in a normal research team. I think that most science is done by teams, rather than individuals, these days – although the ability to do self-guided research is extremely important. Working alone can be a bit lonely, but if I am doing an experiment I usually have my supervisor drop in on me at least once so he can check if I’m doing it properly, and I always have music playing to keep me entertained!