Working from home – dealing with the social factor

Working from home – dealing with the social factor


It may not help that I am writing this article during the time I have chickenpox and I am stuck at home under some sort of quarantine or plain consideration for others.

However, even with the social factor at its lowest (except the virtual one), I’ve decided to put together this article, fully aiming not to let the current circumstances hinder my pragmatic thoughts. The decision to write this article came, however, a couple of months ago, while I was talking to a start-upper who was working from home setting up her business. We engaged into a ‘working from home’ conversation that led to many insightful ideas.

During the last couple of years now, I’ve been working from pretty much anywhere I wanted as long as I had my laptop, my now indispensable headphones and a fast Internet connection. Needless to say I love this flexibility and I’ve written a whole article about it – Online Work + Steady Income = Freedom – that you are more than welcomed to dig into. However, there is one thing that raises numerous speculations and controversies – the social factor of working from home. I may be among the lucky ones, as I have both colleagues (indeed located all around the world – mainly Europe though) and managers. Thus, I feel totally engaged in a corporative world, which is virtually sociable, even if I am not tied to an actual office. That doesn’t mean I cannot imagine the life of a start-upper (with no co-founders) or a freelancer who has no actual colleagues and works solely from home. So, let’s see what are some tips to maintain a healthy social life, while working from home:

  • Surprise, surprise… Don’t work solely from home! There is no need to work 24/7 from your office at home. You have so many opportunities that you can explore and that can facilitate meeting new people, have a coffee together and a good chat. Among the places you can consider working from on a regular day, there can be: CWS (co-working spaces – hot desks), café’s and terraces, the park – hotspot your Internet connection while picnicking in the park… seriously now, the possibilities are endless!
  • Encourage conference calls every single day. Instead of solely writing emails, suggest having a call about it. In case you feel the social factor diminishes by working from home, a few conference calls a day will boost it back again.
  • Organize lunches with friends and loved ones– instead of eating with a colleague (what you’d most probably be doing if you didn’t work from home), organize lunches with your friends. Even if it may be challenging for the ones that are at the office and would probably be eating at work or close to their work, there are always friends who either work from home themselves, or are having some free days, or are entrepreneurs or freelancers – thus, more flexible – or are retired… you name it! This is a great chance to catch up with them. It would be more challenging to organize to meet with them for lunch if you were working at the office.
  • If you are working from home, chances are you have a more flexible schedule also, that you can balance according to the daily workload too. Why not plan something that you’ve always wanted to do at the same time every week, when you’ve noticed workload diminishes? If you work with people from the same time zone, it may be even easier to find ‘the best’ time when an auxiliary activity can be planned. Plan a Photoshop course to follow, new language class, a photography course, Yoga, etc. You name it! This is a great way to be around people, while doing something you love.

I hope these tips work for you. All in all, I am a huge fan of flexible work – from home or anywhere else you want it. Thus, I feel the social factor is just a question of whether you want to make an effort to organize your life without having to hinder it. Let me know your thought on this!

Ending the hotspot session,

Manu

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