Being able to work from home can be bliss. You can set your own hours, wear your favourite tracksuit and you don’t have to worry about the boss catching you on Facebook. But it does have its drawbacks – the chief one arguably being the isolation.
Initially, the peace and quiet when you work on the net from home can be bliss. But humans are naturally sociable animals, and the lack of human contact can get you down if you’re not careful. Many remote workers miss the office banter and camaraderie of the office, which can lead to them giving up the remote worker lifestyle altogether.
So if you want to build a happy, productive career doing work on the net, you need to find ways of getting enough human interaction during the week.
Here are some ideas:
1) Schedule coffee breaks or do lunch with other people you know that also work from home in your local area.
2) Pick up the phone to speak to a client, rather than send an email
3) Go for a walk at lunchtime. This will help clear your head and help you feel rejuvenated, rather than slumping in front of the TV for an hour
4) Join a local gym. This gives you an opportunity to engage in at least some interaction with other people, and there are few truer sayings than ‘healthy mind, healthy body’.
5) Go to the supermarket rather than buy your groceries online
6) Join or organise Meetups in your local area for freelancers that work on the net. This is a great way of replacing your office’s Friday night drinks after work session
7) Consider renting desk space, even if it’s only for a couple of days per week
8) Take your laptop to the local coffee shop or library for the afternoon
9) Chat with friends on Instant Messenger that also work on the net. Just remember to switch it off when it’s time to get some work done
10) Interact virtually by joining discussions in forums, on blogs and in special interest groups on LinkedIn. This is also a great opportunity to promote your remote working business by including your website address in the signature
You could also join an evening class, local book club or do some volunteer work. There are, in fact, loads of things you can do to replace the interaction you’d normally find in an office.
Remember, social interaction is important for your happiness and productivity. So think about how you can apply some of the ideas above so that isolation doesn’t put the brakes on your dream of being able to work on the net from home.
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