Working from home is the dream, right? You get to work from the comfort of your own house, have as many coffee breaks as you want all whilst wearing trousers with an elasticated waistband. But what happens when you have no one to chat to about last night’s latest ITV crime drama and you start to feel a little isolated? I’m sharing the five practical steps I’ve learnt over the past twelve months for battling the loneliness that comes with working from home!
Step one when it comes to avoiding that horrible lonely feeling when you work from home is to make sure you are never, repeat after me, NEVER, surrounded by silence. Unless of course, you enjoy a spot of quiet time that is….
For me, I need a constant stream of sounds throughout the day to make me feel less alone. From the radio alarm clock in the morning to the podcast episodes I catch up with over breakfast to the carefully chosen Spotify playlists whilst I work, background noise is absolutely key to replicating that busy office environment that is missing when you’re a one-woman band. Sometimes as a bit of a treat on a Friday afternoon I even pop on a couple of episodes of Friends in the background as I know the lines pretty much of by heart now so find that it requires little to no concentration but creates a nostalgic, comforting feeling that I love!
Check out my suggestions for 7 podcasts all female entrepreneurs need to listen to in 2019 for some inspiration!
Switch up Your Working Environment
As much as I love my little home office, spending five whole days in there can get a bit too much so I like to switch up my working environment as much as possible. From a local coffee shop to the cafe at my gym I’ve been attempting to make the most of any opportunity to get out of the house and create a whole host of go-to options so things don’t get repetitive.
Co-working spaces are also a great shout if you’re looking for a more permanent solution and most cities have them popping up all over the shop these days! If you currently work for a client who has an office space why not ask whether they would mind you borrowing some desk space for a day or so a week. They’ll probably be glad of some company too and you’ll be surprised by how such a small change can massively impact your overall happiness!
Join Online Communities
I’m a huge advocate for joining co-working groups so you physically get out of the house and interact with other freelancers and business owners but if this isn’t possible for you I really encourage joining some online communities.
Last month I became a member of The Coven which has a very active and useful Facebook group packed full of interesting people all sharing tips and tricks when it comes to being self-employed. I also really rate the Fearless Hustle Collective and One Girl Band Facebook Groups, both full of amazing female entrepreneurs and interesting business related chatter. Having a community of like-minded individuals to seek advice from can be a great way to virtually recreate that feeling of having colleagues to bounce ideas off and
Break up Your Day
When you work for yourself it can be easy to let the usual working routine slide and instead spend eight hours a day glued to your desk without any breaks. This approach, of course, isn’t healthy and can seriously increase the feelings of isolation that come with being self-employed.
Getting out at lunchtime for a walk to your local park or simply popping to the shops and having a quick chat with the checkout assistant can help to bring you back into the real world and fill up your social cup just a little. If you can’t get out of the house
A great way to get out of the house and meet like-minded business owners and creatives is to attend events! As well as hosting events myself I like to go along to as many local workshops and meet-ups as possible. Every couple of weeks I scour Eventbrite looking for any interesting or relevant ones that catch my eye that I think might be useful to attend.
Now I know that it can be intimidating to turn up to events alone but I promise that it gets easier, it just takes a little practice! Make sure you put your positive pants on before you arrive and instead of standing nervously in the corner waiting for someone to approach you, head over to a group, introduce yourself and ask whether you can join their conversation. Most people are looking to make new connections so aren’t exactly going to turn you away!
Find out why I think industry events are so important for freelancers and business owners.
[Watched gifted by Adexe]
Do you struggle with loneliness when it comes to working from home? Do you have any tips on how to tackle it?
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Photography by Ami Ford.