It’s thought that around 70% of people globally work remotely at least some of the time. Some of these people still work for another company and spend time in the office, but many work from home full-time. This number is only likely to grow in the coming years as more and more people seek the flexibility that working from home can bring them.
Working from home can also give you an excellent chance to start your own business, which up to half of millennials are hoping to do within the next three years. Starting a business out of your house can mean that you save money on a premise and other start-up costs. It gives you a chance to find your feet, without losing the opportunity to branch out and grow later on, if things go well. It gives you flexibility and freedom. There are a great many benefits to working from home, whether you are doing it as an entrepreneur, a small business owner or an employee that works remotely from home most of the time.
But, it also has disadvantages. While it can be fantastic, it can also be very lonely, especially if you are someone that is used to working around people, making friends with your colleagues and spending your days surrounded by people that you can speak to. Suddenly, you are on your own. There’s no one to ask for help if you need it, your house can be very quiet, and you can find that days go by without your speaking to anyone. You can also feel as though no one else quite understands how your life works. You might feel like your friends, or even your partner think that you’ve got it easy. That you sit around watching TV all day. They might assume that you can drop work to meet them whenever you want, or that you’ve got plenty of free time to keep your house clean and tidy. Being misunderstood will only increase your stress and loneliness.
Fortunately, so many home workers, self-employed sole takers, freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners are in the same boat, so you are certainly not alone. Here are some of the ways that you can fight the loneliness of working from home.
Use a Co-working Space
Whether you work from home on your own, or you have a small team working remotely, coworking can be an ideal solutions, and it’s undoubtedly worth reading “Coworking: What Is It And Is It Right For You And Your Team?” To find out more.
When it comes to coworking, there are loads of options. You could hire a desk once a week for a few hours. You could take out a membership that lets you use any desk, in any office around the world, you can even hire offices, meeting rooms and boardrooms. It all depends on what you need.
One of its many advantages is that it gets you out of the house, and around other people, even if it’s just for a few hours one afternoon a week. Even if you like to work quietly, and don’t intend to make firm friends with fellow coworkers, they will be around. You won’t be sat quietly. There’ll be noise and people that you can say hi too. There will be people to help if you need it, and lots of people that understand your situation better than anyone else in your life.
Many people find that working in a coworking space makes them more productive. The atmosphere is positive and creative, and it can be much easier to work in this setting than at home on your own.
Your area has probably got loads of groups that you could join. There’ll be networking events, WordPress groups, meetings for local professionals and even home working support groups. It can be nervy going for the first time, but remember, everyone is new once. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
If you aren’t ready to meet people in person, why not join Facebook groups and LinkedIn networks? Get to know other home workers on Twitter. If you’ve never made friends online, you might be a little wary, but online friends can form a brilliant support network and make life much less lonely. You might even meet them in real life one day if you are willing to put in the effort.
It’s also worth considering a different kind of group. Your life isn’t all about your work after all. Try to make the time to go to groups at your local library or exercise classes. You could even take a course. There are plenty of ways to get out there, and around people, you just have to make the time and push yourself.
Get in Touch with Old Friends
As an adult, with a busy career and family life, it’s much harder than it used to be to keep in touch with your friends, and many of us drift apart as we get older. Don’t wait for others to make the first move. If you are lonely, scroll through your contacts and send out some texts. Make the first move to get in touch with old friends.
Work Outside the House
Coworking spaces are fantastic, but they’re not the only way to work outside of the house. If you fancy something a little less formal and organized, grab your laptop or notepad and just head out. You could work in the park or library. You could work in a coffee shop or even a bar. Try a few places to find where you feel most comfortable and productive.
Turn up the Noise
Loneliness is often made worse by silence. You might find it easier to focus on your work when it’s quiet, but it can make you feel more alone and affect your mood. Try having one of your favorite old TV shows that you don’t have to give too much attention, some music or the radio on quietly in the background.