Since I left the … world last year and started working from home … I’ve found that the human contact one gains by going to “work” every day is … that’s good for the …
Since I left the corporate world last year and started working from home full-time, I’ve found that the human contact one gains by going to “work” every day is something that’s good for the soul.
Sure, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as being directly responsible for my own success, and the benefits of being my own boss far outweigh answering to someone else. But, I really do miss some of the conversations & laughter we enjoyed at the office.
Now my day consists mainly of sitting here at my PC in my home office, banging on the keyboard, all alone.
I don’t mean to whine, but I have to do something about this before I start talking to my favorite coffee mug. I’ve considered naming it “Wilson”.
When my wife gets home from work, I’m so excited, I’m practically waiting at the door with my tail wagging, fighting for the first position with our dog.
My sanity has recently been questioned.
Seriously, here are a few ideas for you if you’re feeling a little isolated too…
Keep In Touch With The Gang
Call the old office once in a while to see what’s new. If they’re just too busy to chat, encourage them to call you back when they do have a little free time. Spending even a few minutes with them on the phone can make you feel better and you’ll hang up with a smile on your face.
Use Chat Rooms And IM Programs (wisely)
Take a few minutes to visit a chat room or use your instant messaging program to provide a little break from the daily routine.
A word of caution: If you’ve ever done it before, you know that these things can get out of hand & you’ll find that your day is being interrupted at inopportune times by others. Set limits & take yourself offline or make your status “busy” so you won’t be bombarded by IMs all day long.
Is It Too Quiet? Turn On The Radio Or TV
Listening to background music is relaxing and it can help the day go by faster. Many offices have music “piped” in for this reason.
If you worked in an office that had music before, turning on your own radio can make your home office seem more like the “real thing”.
NPR has some good talk shows that I tune into for half an hour or so every
Having the TV on in the background can make you feel as though there are other people home with you. I don’t know if it’s due to the people talking on the TV or the fact that most times it’s on, like in the evenings, my wife & kids are here. Maybe it’s a little of both.
Weather permitting, of course, take a brisk walk & maybe you’ll even run across a neighbor who’s in the same boat as you. Then you can schedule a walk together every day. At the very least you’ll get some much-needed exercise, which will reduce your stress levels.
Network In Small Business Forums & Find A Buddy
Do a quick search on Google or Yahoo for “work at home forum” and sign up at a couple of them.
Most have an “introduce yourself” section where you can post a little bit about yourself & your location.
I’ve met a few local people on the forums that I frequent & we’ve become good friends. There’s a lot to share & learn.
Again, set a limit. You can easily spend hours reading and posting to forums. It’s easy to lose track of time.
Set Up A Conference Call
I always hated corporate conference calls with a passion. It seems to me that most of them are a huge time-waster. However, with a little planning, they can be productive & the brainstorming that takes place when the attendees are “in the zone” is energizing.
If you do find a buddy or two, set up a call to discuss work at home issues or anything else you have in common.
Be sure to have at least a rough agenda before you dial-in and don’t get distracted by trying to do something else like answering your email during the call. Stay focused and it will be more interesting for everyone.
Writer – Victor George