So many people dream of working from home. No more cubicle, fluorescent lighting, or rush hour commutes. That dream is a reality for over 1 in 5 Americans according to Forbes. When making this transition, many people neglect to realize that working from home day in and day out can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Sounds depressing, I know, but that’s why we are chatting about it!
#1 Co-working Spaces
As more and more people are working virtually or from home, co-working spaces are popping up all across the country. Google to see if there are any co-working spaces in your area. These spaces often come equipped with meeting rooms, open work space, kitchens, and even coffee shops. Many spaces also provide a membership that not only comes with communal workspace, but also social activities like morning coffee clubs or beer Fridays. The awesome thing is, many of the members are likely in the same exact boat as you! You can bond over your laptop lifestyle and entrepreneurial endeavors.
#2 Work Outside of the House
When you work remotely, it can be easy to fall into the trap of waking up, not showering, and logging on to your computer in your pajamas (or no clothes at all, whatever floats your boat). If you don’t want to invest in a co-working space membership, break the always at home habit by getting out of the house to simply work once or twice a week. Work from the library, local coffee shop, or a cute cafe. Casual conversations with a barista will do more for your soul than you think! Also, putting yourself in social settings provides the universe plenty of opportunities for you to meet other people in the community. Don’t be afraid to say, “hello” to the person three laptops down at Starbucks! They could be your new best friend.
#3 Get Some Exercise
Exercise provides endless benefits, but for entrepreneurs specifically, it can boost productivity, build confidence, create a sense of competition, help clear your head, and instill healthy habits. Group workout classes or programs are an awesome way to get your sweat in and meet other individuals focused on bettering themselves. Moreover, many classes are held on a recurring schedule so they can help give your day some structure. For example, if you attend a noon class each day, you are sure to get away from your computer and break up your work day!
#4 Schedule Regular Group Chats
Don’t underestimate the value of a group phone call or video chat. Chat with a group of co-workers each week at a set time. No co-workers, no problem. Reach out to other entrepreneurs in your community and see if they would be interested in having group chats in person each month. You could meet over coffee, beer, or heck, a pizza (refer back to #3… it’s all about balance).
#5 Take Tech Breaks
THIS. This is so important. Make sure you take tech breaks throughout your day. Set a timer or project stop point. Walk away from your computer. Get some fresh air, and do not, I repeat, do not spend the time away from your computer staring aimlessly at your phone screen seeing what your third cousin ate for dinner last night. Many entrepreneurs and remote workers like to skip lunch. Guilty as charged. Spend your lunch hour tech free (yes, actually give yourself a lunch hour). Get out and grab something for lunch once a week as an excuse to get out of the house and see other humans.
#6 Attend Local Meet Ups & Networking Events
It’s likely your area has organizations where you can meet and mingle with other professionals. Most of these organizations have a Facebook group, so start there. Meet up’s can range from extremely formal organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, to very informal groups such as Young Professional Societies. On top of organizational meetups, it is likely there are networking events which you can attend as a one time deal. Google is your BFF.
#7 Face-to-face Meetings
If given the opportunity, take any and all face-to-face meetings, whether it’s meeting up with a co-worker in the adjoining state, or meeting your client in person instead of over video chat. As tempting as it can be to sit at your computer shoeless instead of putting on real clothes and meeting with your client to deliver their analytics, there are many benefits to meeting face-to-face.
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#8 Attend Industry Conferences, Meetings or Trade Shows
Check out what industry conferences are happening throughout the year! Conferences can be an amazing place to not only grow your business and learn valuable skills, but to build in-person connections with people from across the country. Who knows, the people you meet at a conference might make the perfect people to get together for that weekly or monthly group chat!