Are you worried about going stir-crazy if you work from home? What about social isolation? While it’s not an all-consuming problem and shouldn’t stop you from ditching your office job, it is a valid concern. Going from being around co-workers all the time to working on your own can be a startling adjustment. But working from home doesn’t mean you will turn into a hermit and lose contact with the rest of the world.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent work from home isolation.
Take your office on the go
Instead of working from home every day, move your office to a new location. Coffee shops are a great place to meet other working people. You’d be surprised by how many people take their laptop to their local Starbucks just to be able to get some human interaction. Plus, did we mention endless caffeine? We’d call that a win-win.
If you’re looking for a place with an office-like environment, try a coworking space. Coworking spaces allow you to work in an office setting with other remote workers, providing structure and more people contact.
Make regular lunch dates
Sure, one of the benefits of working from home is not spending a ton of money on eating out for lunch, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up eating out altogether. Schedule a day once or twice a week where you meet up with a friend or fellow remote worker for lunch. You’d be amazed at how much a simple lunch date can give you the interaction you’re needing and reinvigorate your work day.
Buy a gym membership
One of the great things about working from home is greater schedule flexibility. This means that you likely have more time to do things like go to the gym. What’s even better is that this means that you can go at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. and not have to fight over the treadmills during the 5 to 6 p.m. rush.
Check out your gym’s class schedule to find something that interests you. Group classes are a great way to meet people and stay fit.
Keep in touch with former coworkers
Sometimes just hearing about the office life (and knowing that you are no longer tied to it) is enough to make you feel like you are still connected to the office. Hearing the office drama or learning about someone’s big promotion can help you feel connected and part of an office dynamic.
Don’t lose touch with friends from past office jobs. Just because you left the office, doesn’t mean you have to leave your friends. Schedule regular get-togethers, connect on the phone, or stop by your old office.
Find new friends in your field
If you didn’t come from an office and have no “work friends” try to network with people in your field. There are a lot of remote workers out there looking to connect with like-minded people. Check local Facebook groups, LinkedIn, or strike up a conversation at the coffee shop.
If you have made the decision to work from home, give yourself some time to adjust to your new environment. It may take some time, but you will find a routine that works for you and keeps you at your peak productivity. Leaving the office doesn’t have to mean work from home isolation. Take some time, try something new, and let yourself get out as often as you need to.