According to a recent study shared on Forbes, 1 in 5 Americans work from home at least once a week. That number is expected to climb to over 50% in the next few years. Holy moly! That’s a lot of people rockin’ their job without leaving their house. I’ve been working from home for about a year and a half now, and can tell you that I absolutely love it. But although working from home is convenient and comfortable, it can also get a little lonely when you’re by yourself day in and day out. In case you’ve ever felt that pang of loneliness while working from your crib, these tips will help you fall back in love with all the reasons a home office kicks butt.
Add some chatter.
There is nothing lonelier (and honestly, boring-er) than working in complete silence everyday. I recommend playing music or a TV show in the background while you work. I find that when I do this, I also feel more productive. The reason this works for me is because it’s similar to having co-workers chattering in the background at a typical job. I love playing silly, upbeat shows, like Psych or The Office, because they create a fun, positive atmosphere to listen to while I’m pluggin’ away.
Hold weekly meetings with other work-from-home friends.
I started having bi-weekly meetings with a couple other bloggers and it has been totally fun and motivating! These meetings keep me in check (since we often discuss what our upcoming goals are) and help me connect with people who “get it.” It’s important to build relationships with people who understand whatever the heck it is you do, so I highly recommend setting up weekly or bi-weekly meetings with pseudo co-workers.
Be social on social media.
You just saw something totally hilarious online…do you have anyone to share it with? Or maybe you just finished a super fun project..does it go unannounced? Rather than silencing all those thoughts and mini-achievements you have throughout the day, try sharing them on social media outlets, like Twitter or Facebook. While you’re at, start responding to the other people you follow on social media and build stronger relationships with those in your network. (Stuck on how to use Twitter effectively? Read this.)
Work outside the house.
As I write this, I’m actually working away at a Starbucks near my house. I like to get out of the house about once a week, because just being around people — even strangers — profoundly affects my happiness and ability to trudge along by myself every other day. It “recharges” me. Find a few local areas where you can bring your work and visit as often as you need to. Your sanity is well worth paying for a $4 coffee.
Take a break.
Some days, I just need to get away from my “office” and take a break for a few hours. I find that going to a park with my dog is often exactly what I need, but your ideal break could mean any number of things. Find what charges your batteries and makes you feel good and then allow yourself a couple hours to indulge. You might be skipping out on work briefly, but I guarantee you’ll get more done if you’re feeling great than if you’re feeling lonely or sluggish. It’s an investment, really. 😉