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Isolation may seem like a strange word when you are talking about working from home. How can you feel lonely and isolated if you are at home with your children all day long? For anyone that has ever had a 9-to-5 job, you understand that interaction with other adults is good from time to time. When you jump ship and work from home this is no longer an option. If you’re an extrovert, when the only interaction you have is with a 2-year old about what cartoon to watch or snack to eat, you may begin to feel quite alone. Introverts are probably more suited to working from home but still crave some on one on interaction with other adults from time to time. Isolation can quickly turn to loneliness, but by being aware and planning ahead, you can easily avoid this common cause of work-at-home unhappiness.
Keep in touch with friends
It can be easy to let relationships fall by the wayside when you are working from home. You are constantly busy with work and family and barely feel like you have time for anything else. It’s important to make time to nurture these relationships outside of the home, though. Get a sitter for the kids and schedule a lunch date with a couple friends once or twice a month to catch up. If you know that you are doing this ahead of time it will give you something to look forward to and avoid the feeling that you never have any adult conversation.
This is an important strategy in business and in life. You have to network with people if you want to further your business. The same goes for your personal life. Find others who work from home and stay connected with them. You are all in the same boat and will most likely be going through the same issues. By having someone to bounce ideas, questions, and problems off of you won’t feel as isolated and alone. Join Facebook groups, forums in the work-from-home communities, or find local events where you can go and meet others in your same line of work. It helps to know that others share a common bond.
Take your work with you
The beauty of having a laptop is that it is portable. When you begin to feel lonely, load up the kids and the laptop and go to the park for an afternoon. The kids will have a blast and you can get some work done in the sunshine and cool breeze. You can also try out the local coffee shop or Wi-Fi hotspot in order to be around other adults. Get a sitter for a few hours and enjoy some grown-up time. You’ll be surprised just how rejuvenating and inspiring some adult interaction can be.
There are several ways you can avoid the feelings of isolation and loneliness while working from home. It can be quite the transition especially if you are used to having co-workers to chat with and someone to eat lunch with every day. However, it’s important to realize that these things come with a price. The benefit of being home every day with the children all while providing for your family is an opportunity that many would consider priceless.
With any work-at-home job, you will quickly realize that each day is different and will bring a variety of challenges your way. This is especially true if you have children in the home. It’s equally important to focus on them as much as you do on your business although balancing the two isn’t always easy.
You have to have a certain mindset, strategy, and plan for success if you want to remain self-motivated and successful. Working from home is one of the most incredible opportunities that a parent can have but it comes with a price of hard work and determination. If you are willing to put in the time and effort you will no doubt put yourself on the path to success for years to come.
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How do you avoid isolation when working from home? If you’ve got some great Facebook groups or tips for interacting with others when working from home, post your suggestions in the comment box below!