How to avoid the loneliness of working on your own

Posted on: May 18th, 2010

If you work from home and you’re on your own, it’s easy to feel isolated. There are no colleagues to chat to, no office buzz,  and no-one to bounce ideas off.

Here are some ways you can avoid feeling lonely:

  • Arrange to meet a friend for coffee once a week.
  • Go to a class at your local gym. Don’t forget, you set your own timetable as a f reelancer.  So if you want to take an hour out and meet your mates while doing a Pilates or Step class, then you’re perfectly entitled to do so.
  • Join a local networking group.
  • Belong to an online forum or two. It’s your virtual water cooler.
  • Meet up with friends in the evening. If you’ve spent all day on your own, you need to get out socialising.
  • Make sure you have some face-to-face meetings with clients, rather than doing everything by phone or email.
  • Phone a friend for a chat.
  • Do some work in a cafe. If you’ve been on your own all day you need the buzz of others around you.
  • Turn on the TV or radio.  If you’re doing a fairly mundane task, it’s good to hear some voices in the background.
  • Get a cat – they’re good company. Or a dog, if you have the time to exercise it.

5 Responses to “How to avoid the loneliness of working on your own”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cathy Winston and Alexandra Szydlowska, Carole Seawert. Carole Seawert said: Reading: How to avoid the loneliness of working on your own [...]

  2. Mike Thompson
    May 20th, 2010

    Why just coffee shops? Work is what you do not where you go. I work in the pub sometimes – I perhaps go out for lunch and then stay there for an hour or two. Wifi is ubiquitous and Mobile broadband dongles are now so cheap. Especially good if you are ‘fine tuniing’ revising somehting rather than doing the more intense stuff. The other thing to say is that if you are a very gregarious person then perhaps freelancing may not be for you. You have to be comfortable with your own company

  3. Carole
    May 20th, 2010

    True, Mike, you can sit anywhere and work. Best bit about summer is working in the garden or park. Enjoy your pub lunch. :)

  4. Victor Yamen
    April 7th, 2011

    Thanks Carole for this blog and the great tips.
    I just thought to expand it a bit and instead of “work from home”, I would suggest to consider making an effort to rent a small office in an office building somewhere walking disntace from home so you can enjoy the little walking excercise and waste no time using the car or the bus.
    It depends on the cost of the rent and the overheads, but this is usually tax deductible in my country.
    Here are few advantages:
    1 – You are not alone. The neighbouring offices are busy with working people and very soon you get to know some great people and end up with having coffee together or go out for lunch in a group of five to ten people to nearby restaurants at lunch hour which is great fun.
    2 – As the other offices notice your business type, you will get some business from them, even without trying.
    3 – You have a better work decipline, men shave and dress much better than if they work at home.
    4 – You are far away from the fridge and start eating at regular times and lose weight.
    5 – The business sounds more professional when you say that you have an office, instead of working at home.
    6 – New business oppurtunities from female customers increase, as they would feel safe coming to an office building instead of an isolated home or apartment.
    7 – Your friends and colleagues would enjoy visiting you more coming to an office instead of home.
    8 – You have a place to invite your clients and if the office is impressive enough (a terrific view from the top for example), your fees become more acceptable.
    Having an office would help you go through the day without feeling lonely.

  5. Freelance FactFile
    April 7th, 2011

    Great tips, Victor. I might be going down an alternative route: there’s a new business club that’s recently opened in London where members can have meetings, work on their laptops, hold workshops in meeting rooms, network with other members etc. I’ve been offered a month’s free membership which I’m going to take up next week. Will report back….

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