How to not be lonely when you work alone
Heres another one of my non marketing blogs that I'm passionate about! Working from home has its perks, but after a while, loneliness can creep in, and before you know it, you start to resent working from home. I almost gave up freelancing for this very reason but after 3months of working in an office i realised the grass was not greener on the side and took back my career!
As loneliness sets in you start to miss human contact, the chit-chat and office banter and especially those spur of the moment after work drinks! According to smallbusiness.co.uk at least half of the UK workforce will work remotely by 2020. I work from home 90% of the time so finding ways to stay focused and not go insane is important to me. Below I've written my top tips which you can use to help you avoid feeling isolated.
If your job means you have to communicate with multiple people, then why not schedule in some face to face meetings. Perhaps a monthly department meeting or maybe you could schedule face to face meetings for the more senior staff you deal with, for example, your manager or the CEO.
If you’re a freelancer, you could arrange a fortnightly coffee with your client to review how your work is progressing, this will keep the client happy, and you get to network with actual humans!
If you’re a freelancer, it’s likely you’ll spend a fair amount of time trying to win over new clients. Once the initial ground has been established, and you’re confident you’d like to nail this one why not suggest a coffee meeting so you can submit your proposal in person. This allows you to get out of the house, network and build new relationships even if you don’t land the client. Another bonus is the client Is far more likely to take an interest in a face to face meeting, and they can ask questions on the spot, allowing you to brush away any doubt.
Everyone needs lunch whether you’re in the office or at home, so be sure to set aside an hour a day for you to switch off from work and refuel. Perhaps you could meet a friend for lunch, or maybe you’d like to burn off some steam in the gym. Fill your lunch break with activities which enable you to mix with people.
Who said you have to work from home just because you work remotely? If you live in London, there are some fantastic spaces available for you to work from. Just grab your laptop and go! My favourite is the Google Campus. It’s a free space specifically for freelancers and start-ups. Google provides free wifi, free training events and encourages you to network with new people each day. There is even an outside space and an onsite café.
Why not work alongside like-minded people? Not necessarily in the same industry as you but people in the same situation as you. Search the internet for freelance networking groups in your area. Meetup is a great app to join and search for free co-working opportunities. Signing up takes a few minutes and you’ll have access to hundreds of groups like the W hotel freelance group – 100 Wardour street open its doors every Wednesday and offer free co-working and networking space to the Meetup group, or perhaps your looking for something a little more historical, say somewhere Charles Dickens used to visit regularly… There is a Meetup group for that too!
Life shouldn’t be all about working, and as we discussed earlier working alone for long periods of time can get you down. Make sure you make time for yourself, especially if you’re not able to co-work or get in any lunch dates. Finishing up your day by getting out for dinner with family or friends or catching a movie and some drinks. Or maybe you have a hobby? Join an art class or yoga class, learn a new language or hang out with some friends.
Working in an office environment usually comes with routine, whether it’s your morning commute, checking the company mailbox, having a meeting or taking your lunch you know what you’re doing with your day every day. Working remotely shouldn’t be any different. Your day might look something like this: 10 am co-working at google campus until 12:30. Then you decide to burn off some steam in the gym for half an hour before grabbing lunch and finishing up your day working from your local coffee shop. However, you choose to do it, plan your day and tasks ahead of time, so you don’t sit around feeling isolated and unproductive.