When you work from home, it can be a lonely job, even for an introvert, constantly being at home by yourself with little to no contact with the outside world can feel deeply isolating. However, it doesn’t have to be that way and there are many ways to combat the loneliness and form relationships with other bloggers and industry-related professionals.
Whether you start online or getting out in the real world, we are social creatures by nature and spending a long time with little to no human contact can lead to problems with anxiety and depression.
The most obvious option for connecting with others, social media does exactly what it says on the tin and allows individuals to expand their social circles with other people, both industry-related and not. Twitter is a freelances haven, with plenty of people eager to follow professional bloggers, artists, developers, etc both to find out good industry practices and for networking with. LinkedIn is great for professionals looking to connect with their industry and Instagram is a photographer’s paradise. Instagram is considered one of the most popular social media platforms with a staggering 400million daily users – that’s a lot of people to connect with!
Co-working spaces can be likened to an office with a revolving door, many individuals will come and go, some career-related and some not. Each person hires a desk-space and then uses that space as much or as little as they like during their rental contract. It’s the perfect way to rent your own space in a professional environment while getting a chance to network and socialise with other hard-working individuals.
Alternatively, if working in a larger office with others doesn’t suit you, you can always find an office studio space for rent in a larger building.
You will have your own private space that gets you out of the house and still offers the chance to network with professionals in the community around you.
Hold Regular Meetings
Have you got a group of bloggers that you regularly communicate with? Why not hold a weekly or bi-weekly meeting between you all? There are plenty of free group-voice communication platforms available, such as Skype or Discord and it’s a great way to discuss strategies, goals and build relationships with others that are both working in and understanding of, your profession.
Attend Live Events & Conferences
Every industry has their trade shows, live events, conferences or exhibitions, keep an eye out for these near to you and attend with your business cards or blog information in hand. These events are an excellent opportunity to network with others and blow away those anti-social cobwebs that have gathered while working at home. Not only will you get to meet some wonderful like-minded individuals, you might be able to pick up some tricks and tips for your blog or grab some great merchandise!
Time with Your Friends
You might have set hours for work but there isn’t any harm in giving yourself a break now and then. Organising a time to see friends, whether for lunch or dinner is a great way to get the happy hormones flowing and help scratch your social itch. You get to catch up with the people important to you and hopefully, get a great meal at the same time.
If you don’t have time for leaving the house, consider inviting friends around for an evening of good fun or alternatively, video chat to keep in touch regularly.
One of the most important, yet often forgotten, an aspect of working from home is taking care of your mental health, which is improved through companionship. If you find your productivity consistently dropping even though you are taking steps to be social, it might be worth getting a part-time job or finding time to volunteer. This can help you get that all-important social contact while giving you a little more spending money or helping you feel good by giving back.