I would guess that the majority of freelancers work from home and spend a large part of the day on their own, working away in splendid isolation. Does that sound like you?
Here are some ways you can avoid feeling lonely:
1. Get out and about
Once a week, make sure you arrange to meet a friend for coffee or for lunch. And, rather than spend all day in your home at your desk on your own, why not go and work in a café?
2. Visit clients
Don’t be tempted to do all your meetings via conference calls. It may take longer to go and visit clients but face-to-face meetings are still important.
3. Go to the gym
If you’ve spent all day at your desk, you are probably in need of some exercise, so take yourself off to a class at your local gym. I’ve been going to my gym for about six years or more now and have got to know a whole bunch of people there. Quite a number of them also work from home. I go to the organised classes rather than do my own thing on the equipment, as classes provide a lot more social interaction.
Join a networking group and go to the events they organise. Also, meet up with fellow members on a one-to-one basis. You never know who they may be able to introduce you to.
5. Join online forums and groups
Belong to an online forum or two. I belong to a couple of Facebook groups related to work projects and it’s a great way to interact virtually. Some of us even meet up in the ‘real world’ from time to time.
Make sure you spend at least a couple of evenings a week out and about with your friends.
7. Phone a friend for a chat
You need to take breaks now and again so why not phone a mate and have a good chin wag?
8. Get a pet
A cat is good company. I’ve got two – although they are banned from my office as they are quite young and mischievous and tend to cause problems. For example, one trod on the on/off switch on my extension cable when I was in the middle of a Skype call with a client and a designer. The other likes to try and bite the drawing pins off my pin board. Or why not get a dog if you have the time to walk? It’s a great way of getting out and about and enjoying some exercise.
9. Rent desk space
If you really do need the buzz of others around you, take a look at renting desk space somewhere nearby, either where there are other freelancers or within a company that’s related to your industry.
10. Enjoy the fact you don’t have to commute!
Finally, when you feel it’s quiet at home and wish you were in a lively office, remind yourself that you don’t have a long car or train or bus journey into work every morning and back again in the evening.
How do you combat the loneliness of working on your own?