One of the most challenging aspects of working from home is the increased isolation and loss of social life.
Working remotely may appear to exhaust you of all virtual communication and make it difficult to foster new friendships, however, this does not mean you are totally doomed from creating any form of relationships going forward.
Building and maintaining a social life while working from home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be that way. Below, you can find 5 ways to stay social while working from home.
1) Commit To Being More Social In Real Life
You may work remotely, but that does not mean you can’t go outside and meet people in real life. When working from home, the majority of communication is done virtually and not in real life, making you feel isolated from the real world.
You may seem to be more connected than ever by finding yourself on dating apps, Instagram, Zoom meetings, and Facebook but still feel caged. That is because humans are beings of connection that require a real in-person connection in order to function properly.
Working from home has its perks such as a flexible schedule and unlimited time with your pet, but it reduces your chances of connecting with people outside of the house and forming new relationships.
This increases the chances of feeling isolated and as though you may no longer have those connections you once thought you did. So, the first step to becoming more social is committing to doing something social. Even if it is just for an hour a day.
This will help you feel more connected in the real world and less alone during your workday.
2) Reach Out
Making a point to reach out to old friends or even coworkers who may be experiencing the same sense of loneliness is one way to start feeling less isolated.
The more you make the effort to make plans, the easier it will become and the less daunting it may seem. Even if it means sparking a conversation with your local barista while waiting for a coffee or speaking to the librarian when searching for a new book.
The less forced, and the more natural - the easier it will become to make new friends and rekindle old friendships.
If you are nervous to strike up a conversation on the spot, prior to meeting up with an old friend, brainstorm some topics that you can bring up and the rest of the conversation will flow naturally.
3) Try Coworking Spaces
A coworking space is the perfect middle ground between office life and working from home. A coworking space is a building where different people who work for different companies come together and share an office space.
Not only does this save money through common infrastructures such as desks and utilities but it also offers an opportunity to meet new people and work alone while not feeling alone. It’s a great way to revamp your office practically for free (with the exception of the coworking space fee you’d have to pay).
Using the kitchen and common areas will help you meet new people and also hold good topics for conversation. This will give you the opportunity to ask them what they do for a living or even what their favorite midday snack is.
Working at a coworking space may make the transition between working at an office to home a lot smoother and less daunting. Putting yourself out there will help you create structure and personal flexibility while expanding your circle of friends at the same time.
4) Sign Up At A Gym
To develop the feeling of belonging and to foster connection with other people, putting yourself out there and in an environment where everyone shares a similar interest will help initiate that first step to develop new friendships.
By joining a gym or a group class, you and other strangers are working together towards a common goal which will help spark conversation and strengthen the connection you share further.
Not only will this help you build friendships but it will also improve your health and wellness, making you feel more confident when approaching strangers.
If the gym is not your thing, there are other areas where you can form part of a community. Things such as taking up cooking classes, going to coffee shops, or joining a sports team are also some popular choices.
5) Get Involved
Using your spare time to give back to your community and build your skills is a great way to foster new friendships and work on a cause that means something to you.
By searching for volunteering opportunities, you can decide which speaks to you the most. Such as:
- Volunteering at an animal shelter
- Volunteering at beach or park clean-ups
- Help to serve at a soup kitchen
If these don’t quite interest you, there are plenty of other great options to pick from.
Although it may not seem like it, there are many ways for remote workers to stay social. By using these tips, you will not only be inundated with coffee dates and gym classes, but you will also be happier, healthier, and more mentally positive which will help improve your overall work productivity and focus.