Feeling isolated and lonely is often cited by former telecommuters as a key factor in their choice to return to the office. If you’re a highly social person who thrives on face-to-face interactions during the day, working from home is probably not a good fit for you.
It’s normal to miss the daily interaction with friends at work and the general office buzz. But the advantage of city life is that you only need to step out of the building to be in the midst of a bustling vibe. The pulse may be different from the one generated in a lively workplace, but it can still satisfy your need for regular social interaction.
If you miss chatting with office colleagues during the workday, collaboration tools like Skype, Slack and BaseCamp can help you to keep in touch during the day, as well as text messaging, social media and video chat applications. Just be sure to set expectations on both sides so that you’re respecting each other’s productive time.
Sometimes a change of scenery is all that is needed. If you’re feeling too secluded, working for a hour or two in a busy local cafe can provide an easy cure. Most cater to self-employed and remote-working regulars during the week, so it’s also a good way to meet other remote workers.
If you’re a freelancer or self-employed professional, a coworking space can be a smart, cost-effective option to working from home. (Coworking membership fees are 100% tax deductible.)
Consider expanding your professional horizons by joining a networking group. You can find groups of telecommuters who get together regularly for coffee and to share ideas on Meetup. LinkedIn groups also offer broader opportunities for networking; for instance, Network After Work schedules monthly mixer events in various cities.