I ventured outside of the house today. Sure, leaving the house isn’t a big thing for most people but for me it’s pretty exciting. You see, my home is also my office and I have very little need to leave the house most days, so my husband and I share a car and I become a bit of a homebody.
Being an introvert, the lack of socialisation is manageable for me, but sometimes, it can be very isolating. There is about a bagillion things that I love about working from home – working in my pj’s, random hours and slipping in an afternoon nap (I see my working environment like Google’s but the sleep pods are actually my bed) but the lack of office banter and structure can be quite a draw back.
After working from home for nearly 5 years now, I have adopted some fail-safe tips to get me through the lonely time.
Join social networks/groups
There are so many online groups where people openly share. XY Adviser (Facebook) which is great for people in financial services to support each other and ask questions. LinkedIn is great, especially if you are regularly contributing but also check out your local business groups for a bit of face to face time.
Connect with others in the same boat
Put the word out on social media that you are looking to connect with like minded people. I am fortunate to have an awesome team and we regularly use Voxer to share a bit of office banter and have entire conversations via gif.
Get out of the office/home
One of my favourite things to do is work from a coffee shop. In fact, I am writing this right now from one. I have a favourite café that I always go to and love having a chat with Holly, the Barista.
Set up lunch dates/gym dates/coffee dates
Coffee has come up twice here…. There are so many people in the ‘stay at home’ boat. Whether they are parents, workers, retired or a combination. My point is that people love connecting with people. Set up a regular informal date and reenergise yourself. Me personally, I have lunch with my Mum (I’m 33 and still need her attention ha!) at the end of every week. She loves it (I think) and I look forward to it.
Finally, just recognise
Working from home is not all rainbows and unicorns. Mostly, I love it but sometimes I feel like just randomly turning up to an office and asking to borrow a desk for the day. Just ac
knowledge that whatever option you choose, there are likely to be some drawbacks.
Something I haven’t mentioned which I am sure are great are the co-working spaces. We personally don’t really have them in Cairns but I think they would be a really effective way of connecting while getting your work done so check those out too.
For me, I very much value my time and commuting to and from work or having to sit in an office, regardless of how productive I am, is the worst. If you are the office clown and want to work from home, ask yourself if this is right for you because at home, Rover may not be a good dog and appreciate your humour.
To test it out, try what I call ‘phasing’ where you maybe work from home 2 days per week and in the office the other 3 days. This way you will be getting the best of both worlds. Have a chat to the boss about what this would look like and set clear expectations from the get go.
Either way, I’m always looking for friends so if you’re lonely and want to connect, hit me up on LinkedIn and I will be all over it like a fat kid on a Smarty.