You’re all set up with your home office. You have some well-established clients. And then you realize the last time you had a conversation with someone other than your cat was over a week ago. Some type of socialization is definitely in order!
I think we can all agree that working from home has many benefits: choosing your own schedule, not having to deal with traffic, setting your own rates, even working in your PJ’s if you want! But despite those amazing perks, we might find ourselves feeling isolated being at home most of the time instead of in an office full of people. We are social creatures and still need to be around others so we don’t feel lonely. And yes, even introverts need socialization! And sorry, your cat doesn’t count. 😊
There are many ways to socialize even if you work from home. It just takes some planning. Below are some ideas you can incorporate into your busy freelancing schedule!
1) Find a place to work outside the house
There are many places that offer free Wi-Fi access. It might be worthwhile to take advantage of that if you need a change of scenery or to be around others. Is there a coffee shop nearby? Head over there and sip on your favorite beverage while you work.
Or perhaps somewhere a little quieter is more to your liking. Your local library might be the perfect spot for you to be around others and also get some work done, or put your work aside and read a good book instead.
2) Get involved in “extracurricular” activities
Speaking of your local library, book clubs are pretty popular and are a great way to meet others and discuss interesting books. This would be an excellent opportunity to get some socializing in and relax in the comfort of the library with fellow book nerds.
Also, many of us know that working from home can present the challenge of saying no to the fridge in the next room. Many communities offer running clubs, soccer teams, or other sports you can join to meet others and stay in shape (or work off the brownie you just ate). And if you thrive on friendly competition, this might be a great way to spur each other on!
3) Meet up with like-minded people
More than ever, people are realizing the possibilities of working from home. You might be surprised to find that there are people in your area who also work from home. Social media sites like Meetup can be a useful tool in helping you find freelancers in your community. It might be fun to organize a get-together with like-minded people to network, share ideas, get feedback, or just enjoy each other’s company.
4) Organize lunch with friends
How many of us have gotten so busy that we forget to eat? It’s easy to forget that important detail when we have a full schedule. Everybody needs to eat; why not make it a lunch date with a close friend or even a group of friends? Face-to-face time with people you’re close to is so important. You can enjoy good food and good company – it’s a win-win!
5) Chat online with other freelancers
This option allows you the benefits of socialization without ever having to leave your house…or your cat! Sometimes in our immediate circle, friends or family might not understand the struggles of freelancing or working from home. In this case, it can really be beneficial to find an online community to make friends who have common interests, challenges, and goals.
Working from home obviously has many perks, but it can be lonely. Thankfully, there are many ways you can overcome that loneliness and get some much-needed socialization into your life. It just takes some planning and forethought. Humans are social creatures, and finding ways to combat loneliness is an important part of caring for yourself, so taking the time to plan social activities into your day is as important as scheduling your next phone call or meeting your next deadline!
Do you struggle to incorporate socialization into your schedule? What are some ways you overcome that? I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to do! Share them in the comments below!