Working remotely can sometimes feel more like isolation than opportunity. If you’re like me and work from home, here are seven ways to beat the loneliness throughout the day!
1. GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, HEAD TO A LOCAL SPOT
Luckily, most of us can work from anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal, so when the walls start to close in, pack up and head out. Once you’ve found a spot and settled in, it’ll quickly becomes evident that many of the patrons are doing the same thing, striving for a change of scenery.
2. TAKE AN EXERCISE CLASS, OR WALK WITH A FRIEND, DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK
Getting out of the house, even if it’s on your own time, can drastically change your outlook. Socializing with a friend, or even spending 30 minutes in a class full of strangers, means getting your mind off your work, and focusing on what’s in front of you. It makes for an easier transition and helps the afternoon fly by!
3. JOIN A SOCIAL GROUP WITH OTHERS WORKING REMOTELY
If you were working in a traditional office setting, chances are, you would have a work buddy. That doesn’t have to change because your co-workers are across the country. Search LinkedIn or Facebook for social groups that cater to those who work from home, and you could find yourself sharing coffee, lunch, or even an afternoon work session with someone in the same boat!
4. SKYPE OR GOOGLE HANGOUT WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES
Using tools like Skype and Google Hangout, make it a snap to get in contact—face to face—with colleagues across the country. Although the person isn’t actually in the room with you, it’s nice to know that they are working towards the same goals that you are, even if they live 3,000 miles away.
5. JOIN AN OFFICE OR COMMON SPACE COMMUNITY
Companies like We Work make it easy for those that work from home to use offices, or conference rooms, whenever they need them. Members can reserve offices, or come and go from the common workspace, at their own leisure. These community groups are great for getting your work done in an office environment and for socializing throughout the workday!
6. RETURN YOUR CALLS & EMAILS AFTER COMPLETING PROJECTS
Getting caught up in a project can make the day fly by, but it can also make it painfully obvious that you’re alone while you’re working. Use the morning hours to get your projects and tasks in order, and after lunch, return any calls or respond to any emails you’ve received. Spending the afternoon communicating will keep you energized as you finish out the day!
7. SCHEDULE MEETINGS OR GET-TOGETHERS FOR LOCAL COLLEAGUES
If you have colleagues that live near you, set aside time each week to meet and catch up, not only on work items, but social interactions, as well. It can go a long way, knowing that down the street or across town, someone understands what it’s like to do similar work, in a similar setting. Simply sitting down for a cup of coffee for a few minutes each week can help you feel as though you’re still part of a team!
Don’t get me wrong, I love working from home, but there are days that I miss being in a fast-paced, socially charged, office environment. So, use these tools to make it feel like you’re still doing great work, even if it’s from home!