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According to a study shared on CNN, “3.9 million workers, or almost 3% of the total U.S. workforce, were working from home at least half the time in 2015, an increase from 1.8 million in 2005.” This number must have increased much more by now. There are similar numbers in most of the major markets around the world. There are many people working entirely from home – most of these people will tell you they love the added comfort and convenience that a home-based business provides. However, there are times when working from home can leave you a little lonely, especially because you are mostly all by yourself, day in and day out. So what do you do if you are hit with a pang of loneliness while working from your own crib? This blog will try to help you find that out!
Add Some Sound
Why does working from home make you feel lonely? Well, one main reason can be all the silence that you are surrounded with. To kill the loneliness and boredom, it is good to add some sounds in the background. I recommend that you should play some music or even a TV show/news while you are working. Just be sure that these sounds are not causing any trouble with your work. Some people enjoy jazz instrumental or chill out music because it is soothing and has no vocals to distract or confuse them while they are trying to focus on a task. Along with killing the loneliness, music also helps people get more productive. The sounds of a TV show on the other hand, can simulate sounds similar to the chattering of our co-workers in the background at any typical workplace. Play silly, upbeat shows to feel more positive while working.
Hang Out with Other HBB Friends
If you have a circle of friends who all work from home, you might want to hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings with them. You can all decide if you would like to do it in anyone’s crib or at a coffee shop. Such meetups can be motivating and a lot of fun. Another goal of such meetings is to keep a track of each other’s progress and upcoming tasks. Having a circle of freelancers and other friends working from home by your side also allows you to discuss opportunities and any collaborations with them, which would make you feel less lonely and more like a part of a team. Moreover, you also need people around you who understand the kind of work you do and can offer you honest counseling when if needed.
Get Social on Social Media
A major advantage of social media for people working from home is how it allows them to stay connected with the outside world and with their friends, allowing for instant interaction with their contacts. Therefore, the next time you see something hilarious online; it might be a good idea to share it with your friends on social media. You can also use social media to announce the completion of a great project. Getting any praises and appreciations on professional accomplishments will help you stay motivated and minimize the loneliness. Make full use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and respond to other people – create virtual spaces to stay connected with the people who matter to you. You can also effectively use platforms like LinkedIn to connect and network with potential future team members and clients.
Have Occasional Work Outside
Home-Based Business does not have to be business exclusively at home. In fact, it actually means that you have the liberty of working from anywhere, anytime of the day. Try to arrange working from outside your home, like a coffee shop, park or library near you. This will affect your happiness and boost your ability to trudge along all by yourself, as you will have the view of people around you. Plan to have a day outside, once every week to keep yourself refreshed and recharged. Look around and find a spot where you can unwind and get rid of the loneliness.
The Simple Rules of Working Alone
Working from home is very different from going to an office. While you might have a regular contact with your clients, you still might feel loneliness and boredom hit you. It is easy to feel isolation and some feel claustrophobic, staying home all the time. All this might make you miss your old jobs from the human contact perspective. It can be anything of human contact, like the office banter or the chats about making weekend plans or even how people at work would bounce ideas around. However, if you follow these 7 simple rules, you can minimize the impact of any loneliness that you might be feeling, working from home:
- Make a Daily Schedule. One major problem of working alone is keeping pace with your deliverables. To keep yourself motivated, you will need to plan a daily schedule. Try to approach each day as if you would approach a regular job. Keep a schedule of time that you get up daily, have breakfast as well as when you get dressed. Avoid working in your PJs as it might relax you too much for your own good. Arrange your days into little blocks of time with scheduled breaks so that you get enough time to be away from your desk and relax. This will help you diminish any self-doubts that loneliness can give you. A well-structured and organized plan will keep you focused on your goals and make you stay energized and stress-free.
- Frequently Leave Your House In Between. Make a habit of going out for walks. Working from home can cause mild agoraphobia, so you need to go out frequently for a change of scenery. Staying at home can make you lazy or feel busy unnecessarily and this can have its toll on your social life and your body. Take time to go out for gym or a brisk walk at the park. Make a habit of walking to your local shop to do any grocery shopping instead of driving to the store. Fresh air and Mother Nature can do wonders for you.
- Plan Lunch Dates. To avoid working from home having an impact on your social skills, you should try to put yourself in non-work related situations. Plan lunch dates with your friends and family members to socialize with the people who matter to you. Stop all the texting and Facebook and have a good old-fashioned telephonic conversation. What is critical is that any human contact is beneficial to you – even a polite chitchat with your neighbor is a good idea.
- Become a Group Member. You do not have to be working at a physical office to connect with great people. Join a local group of likeminded people and plan out meetings and networking sessions. There will be plenty of events locally and this will help you connect with potential clients and create a small support network of like-minded business people and workers who work solo. These support networks are great for getting professional advice. Such groups can also be online for quick cross-questioning and support.
- Keep a Pet. Keeping a pet can actually improve your sense of wellbeing. If you do not have any allergies or issues with keeping a pet dog or cat, then I think you should get one. Having a pet can help you boost morale and be stress-free. Sometimes, all you need is a little companionship from someone who loves you to get by the difficult times. If you are on your own, you might not take out time to have the important breaks; but with a pet in your house, you will not miss these opportunities to reconnect with your inner self.
- Share Your Thoughts with Others. A problem shared is a problem halved. When you feel down and low, you should connect with people closest to you and share how you feel. Being consumed by the feelings of isolation is easy. However, reaching out to others will get these problems off your chest to some extent and will help you combat such negative feelings. Having such important people know that you sometimes struggle with long periods of solitude will help arrange meetups with you or just give you a call to say hello.
- Embrace the Change. You might be overwhelmed by how different Home-Based Businesses work. All the calm and solitude can sometimes get to your head. The most important thig for you will be to truly embrace the situation and understand that you are doing this to have greater freedom and more time for yourself and people who matter the most to you. You need to realize that you are doing this to reclaim your life and not waste it on all the time spent in commuting to and from a workplace. If you truly embrace working from home, you will begin to enjoy it and actually start looking forward to each day and all the adventures that it will bring.
Do you have a Home-Based Business? How do you cope with the solitude? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.