Coping With Isolation When Working From Home
So you’ve made the decision to work from home. Maybe you’ve decided to try freelancing, or you’ve changed your arrangements to fit around family commitments. Whatever your reasons, you’ve made a great decision that can improve productivity and bring balance back to your life. Despite the positives, however, working from home can be an isolating, lonely experience. We offer some tips to help ease the transition from hectic office to home, sweet home.
Body and MindLoneliness and isolation can lead to a lack of motivation and even depression, so try to establish a healthy routine at the outset. Regular physical activity will not only keep your body fit; it will also get you out of the house and into the company of other people. Choose a sociable activity such as joining a regular fitness class, or perhaps link up with a running club. Whatever your preference the chances are there will be a group full of like-minded people, and potential friends. Think of the opportunities for networking, too, particularly if you’re self-employed.
Out and AboutThere are lots of networking events designed for sole traders and people who own small businesses. A quick internet search will probably turn up a whole host of breakfast seminars, monthly mentoring get togethers, and more. It takes courage to attend your first event but it’s a great idea to take the plunge so that you can learn from those in a similar position. This is a great opportunity to make friends, business contacts and keep sane by swapping notes about the pros and cons of working from home. Once you’ve made a few contacts why not set up regular meetings over coffee? You’ll be surprised at how talking about your work renews your motivation and puts that spring back in your step.
Internet-workIf you trust yourself to be disciplined the internet is the perfect way to connect with other home workers. True, it’s easy to lose hours online if you’re not careful, but making connections with virtual friends can be a real sanity saver. If you’re feeling like the only lonely home worker in the world, log on and you’ll soon realise that your feelings are validated, normal and completely justified. Make use of the web to share your experiences and learn how others cope with working alone.
On ScheduleMany home workers find that the key to beating isolation is to carve out a routine and stick with it. If you know where your next slice of human interaction is coming from it will be easier to relax and enjoy the quieter moments. You might make time to visit your local coffee shop a couple of days a week, or choose a few locations where you can set up camp with your laptop for a change of scene. Working elsewhere can be really inspiring, especially on those days when peace and quiet isn’t critical to the job you’re working on.
Working from home has some incredible benefits, and while your friends probably imagine your working week to be one long walk in the park, the truth is the grass is always greener on the other side. While you get the flexible hours and the freedom from office politics, they get the group lunches and after work socials that you so miss. If you’re feeling isolated and unhappy working from home, don’t give up and don't let it get you down. You are just a few tweaks away from finding happiness from your new lifestyle.