I think web workers (or anyone that works at home) would agree that the biggest problem they face, after a few months of working from home, is a strange feeling of loneliness.
Agreed, not all of us feel like that. Some people prefer solitude than company (it's actually a trait that's good for web working). But if you are someone who used to have a job that involved interacting with colleagues everyday, or someone who considers himself as an extrovert, then sitting at home, working alone, isn't easy.
This article suggests some ways to avoid this "web working" loneliness, and be more energetic and productive while working alone.
Step out and interact
I think this is the most common, most simple, and yet most ignored energy boosting solution for web workers. How many times it has happened that you're stuck inside your house working on one project after another and losing track of time..sometimes days? Not that unusual for people working full-time from home. And this is one of the reasons why the feeling of loneliness creeps in eventually. You suddenly realize you haven't seen any outsider for days and you've got no one to talk to.
Stepping out everyday and interacting with people shouldn't be that difficult. Even if you don't get a chance to talk, just going outside and watching people could be refreshing.
Call up friends & relatives often
Working from home shouldn't mean you lose touch with old colleagues. Make it a point to talk to someone everyday. And I mean talk, not chat or tweet. You could call up an old friend, colleague or a kin. That'd open up more opportunities for going out with old buddies and have fun on the weekends.
Network with like-minded people
One of the best things about sites like Twitter and Facebook is that it allows you to network with like-minded people. You could use such sites to connect with fellow web workers in your city and then meet with them when possible.
Use Skype Often
You'd agree Skype is one of the most useful tools for people working from home. You could talk with people around the world and make international calls for peanuts. So make use of this tool as often as possible.
Take a break from typing long sentences in the chat window, and talk on Skype instead. Listening to a human voice has its own soothing effects.
Music is useful
It is a scientifically proven fact that listening to music frequently, or taking short music breaks in a day, could energize you and make you more productive. When you are feeling low, just start playing that favorite song of yours and see how it helps fade away those depressing thoughts.
Visit coffee shops or bookstores often
Eminent blogger Chris Brogan wrote an excellent article on why he works in bookstores and coffee shops most often. I think reading that article would immediately persuade to pay frequent visits to the neighborhood bookstores and coffee shops with your laptop.
Eat out when possible
In another nice article, Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg discusses how he works (who's a web worker too by the way). Matt tells readers that he enjoys lunches and eats out as often as he can.
He says, "There's something very personal about sharing food with someone. It's a chance to develop personal connections with folks." And that's exactly why I'd recommend web workers to eat out when possible.
Participate in an outdoor activity
Being stuck inside home is the primary reason for that sinking feeling of loneliness. Hence regular participation in an outdoor activity like running, trekking, hiking, sports, etc., could keep you fit physically as well as mentally.
Those were my suggestions to get rid of that feeling of being lonely if you are working from home. I'd love to know if you ever had those feelings too, and what steps you took to tackle it. Tell us your experiences in the comments.
|Written on 7/09/2010 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. Abhijeet is a blogger and web publisher from India. He loves all things tech as long as it aids in productivity. He edits Guiding Tech, a blog that publishes useful guides, tutorials and tools. Check it out and subscribe to its feed if you like the site. You can also find him on Twitter.|