Are you new to the work from home lifestyle? Maybe working remotely is nothing new for you, but you are noticing that your social life is suffering? Either way, here are 7 tips to boost your social life despite your work arrangements.
I am sure many would agree working remotely can be a rewarding experience. For me, I love avoiding those crazy commutes before and after work, wearing clothes that are comfortable, work-life balance, flexible hours and being able to break when needed. However, working from home can be lonely, and most times we don't get the same social interaction as traditional workers. The good news is there are steps we can take to help us be social, and there are ways to be social from your home office.
Here are 7 tips you can use to help you remain social online and in-person as a work from home professional.
#1 Join active Facebook and Slack communities that fit your interest and field of work.
There will be days where you are unable to be social in-person. On those days, be active in Facebook and Slack communities that fit your interest or your career field. For example, I joined communities on both platforms that focus on blogging, teaching, and marketing. In these communities, I try to be very active and share content that members may find interesting. In these groups, members often share work opportunities, advice, and host meetups. From online groups, I have gained connections, clients, and contract opportunities.
#2 Consider working in public places a few days a week.
Working as a remote employee or independent contractor with no co-workers can be lonely at times. You might examine the options you have for working in public. Today, many places offer free Wi-Fi. Therefore, the opportunities for working in public are endless. Of course, you don't have to work at a public location every day of the week. However, working at a coworking space, coffee shop, park or even a library from time to time can help you meet other professionals or others enjoying their leisure time. Who knows, maybe you will meet a friend, business partner or future employer. Depending on your work, you might find that getting out of your home office and outside can offer the inspiration to create that graphic, written piece or get ahead in a work project.
#3 Attend networking events that you know will have like minded people in attendance.
This approach is an oldie but still very effective. Networking events are one of the best ways to meet new contacts and even run into old connections. You just never know who you will meet. You might find a friend, business partner, customer, supplier, etc. Networking events come in many forms. Speed networking, highlighting a business, open forums, and many others. Speed networking events are great if you are new to networking or returning to the social scene. It will force you to have short conversations with a handful of professionals. Therefore, boosting your confidence and encouraging you to attend more events.
#4 Join professional associations.
If you want to meet people in your area of work who are serious about their careers, consider joining a professional association. For example, I am a member of education and marketing professional organizations. I joined because I am interested in connecting with others in these fields. Most professional organizations require a yearly fee, but the outcomes can be worth it. Being surrounded by like-minded professionals can help you meet industry leaders, help boost your morale, keep you engaged and learning about your industry.
#5 Get active with your Alma Mater.
You probably spent a lot of time and money at your Alma Mater. Make sure you are taking advantage of your status as a graduate. I suggest that you become active with your school's alumni association. Whether you attend events or serve on a committee, being involved with your Alma Mater can help you establish great relationships and lead to other opportunities in the future.
#6 Make sure you make time to go out with friends and family on a regular basis.
Okay, I know this can be a hard one. We are all busy with work, but we need to make time for an outing with friends and family from time to time. The purpose that most of us seek to work from home is work-life balance. Set the time to have lunch, dinner, happy hour and have fun with friends and family!
#7 Stay active with your professional network on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an easy way to store your professional contacts and keep in touch. It is a platform that is created for networking and engaging with other professionals. You can create a personal or company brand presence, stay in the "know," remain active and build an audience for your content and products/services.
Being a work from home professional doesn’t have to be lonely and not engaging. You have the ability to make your remote environment work for you. If you need social interaction tailor your remote environment that gives you opportunities to be social and engage with others. However, If you need to be alone to finish a project, that is okay. The beauty of being a work from home professional is that we have the flexibility to do what is best for our creativity.
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