The benefits of telecommuting have been discussed over and over again. From the flexibility to the savings on fuel to increased efficiency, it is easy to realize that there are many advantages.
For more detailed information, check out our post on the pros and cons of telecommuting.
One of the first drawbacks listed in that post is how lonely it can be to work from home. Is this something you are worried about? Is it something you are already experiencing?
For more than 10 hours a day, I am the only person in my home. For the most part, I stay in my office and work in front of the computer. Typically, I don’t get bored during the day. After all, there is always more than enough work to keep me on my toes. However, there are times when it is extremely lonely.
When you telecommute at home, you need to find ways to break up the feeling of loneliness. There are no other employees in your office. It is just you and your work. This lack of personal interaction can get you down soon enough.
Here are three things you can do to combat loneliness:
1. Talk with clients and coworkers on the phone. This may not be a replacement for one-on-one personal communication, but it will do the trick most of the time. A quick phone call here and there is more than enough to keep the lonely feelings away.
Additional tip: give Skype a try. This is perfect for everything from instant messaging conversations to phone calls to phone calls with video.
2. Setup face-to-face meetings. As a freelance writer and web developer, there is not much of a need for me to meet in person with clients. To go along with this, most of my clients don’t live in my area. That being said, there are times when I am lucky enough to setup a face-to-face meeting. This allows me to get out of my home office and communicate with somebody else in person.
3. Take breaks throughout the day. I am just as guilty as the next work at home professional when it comes to overlooking breaks and working too many hours. Sometimes, it is difficult for me to drag myself away from my computer. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to get work done, it can actually lead you to feeling lonely sooner than usual.
Why not take a break during the day for just a few minutes? Walk outside to the mailbox. Head to the bank. Grab some lunch at a local restaurant. Just do something that gets you out of the office. It is a bonus if you strike up a conversation with somebody along the way!
In my mind, the benefits of telecommuting at home will always outweigh the drawbacks. If loneliness begins to creep into your life, follow this advice and you will soon feel better about yourself.
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