If you are a home worker it can become very isolating if you don’t regularly get to be in the company of others. We often begin our journey into running our own business having only known the corporate lifestyle of “water cooler chats” and social evenings spent in the pub... but as a home worker these bonding experiences are not so easy to come by.
So how can you overcome this?
With the increased use of technology nowadays, there is often less need for face to face communication which can lead you to feel even more isolated. However, this same technology opens up even more routes for networking and keeping in touch with the outside world.
A great internet communication tool. You can quickly and easily speak to (and see if you use webcams) anyone with a Skype account anywhere in the world... for free. If you’re feeling isolated, there are millions of other people feeling exactly the same. Why not ‘buddy up’ with another business owner and schedule a five or ten minute Skype conversation each day?
Perhaps you can make this part of your daily accountability schedule with each of you reporting your intentions for the day ahead and supporting the other in getting stuff done?
Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and forums attract millions of people and you will find lots of like minded people online at any point in time. There are groups for mums, home workers working alone, and many other interest or industry specific groups where people post to share what is happening for them... and to get help with their challenges or blockages.
By becoming involved in these social networks, you can give and receive support in any area... if you approach this with the intention of building relationships, not only will you begin to feel less alone but you also never know where these relationships could lead for you.
There are lots of networking groups around the world and the number of women only groups are continually growing too... there is sure to be a group local to you (free or paid) which holds their meetings at a time which suits your lifestyle.
Even the paid networking groups allow you to attend as a visitor once or twice so why not make a commitment to getting along to a meeting this month and meeting some new people? If you’re not used to networking, it can feel pretty scary the first few times but you’ll be so glad you made the effort.
Before you go along, make contact with the organiser to find out the format of the meetings and whether there is a dress code. I always feel more comfortable if I know what to expect ahead of time. I’d recommend you make it known to the organiser that this will be your first visit then they can make sure you are supported.
I regularly schedule time to meet up with girlfriends for coffee or lunch and this can be a great way to be supported in your journey. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself to do something you enjoy.
When we work for ourselves it can be easy to forget to take lunch breaks and if you feel you’re losing touch with friends because you’re always working, why not call up a friend and see if you can schedule a date?
It can be difficult to adjust from the corporate lifestyle to suddenly finding yourself alone at home for hours each day but there are lots of options available to you to be part of a community... even if you can’t meet face to face as often as you’d like.
If you’ve overcome the feelings of isolation in your home working business, please leave me a comment and tell me what worked for you? Do you have a buddy?