Welcome to this series about Working from Home. This is perhaps timely. I hope you enjoy the series and learn something new. There are positive benefits from Working from Home.
When you work from home you can spend time with family as well as set your own work schedule. But, being around small children or being alone so much of the time can breed a feeling of isolation. That can sap your creativity and focus if it goes on too long. Learn how to overcome separation from the rest of the world.
You are not in jail, but you are away from the outside world. As a work from home mom, the only other breathing person you may encounter daily is your children and/or your spouse. Most of us need more human contact than that. Coming from an outside working environment where there were friendly lunches and chats at the water cooler, sitting in front of a computer everyday can become a rude awakening. The silence can be deafening.
A drawback to isolation is mental changes. Whereas you were once gung-ho and intently focused on your new enterprise, now you are missing your friends and simple conversation. At home, not a single word may be uttered all day. After a few months, the effects may start to show. Concentration drops, anxiety builds, and a bit of depression may creep in. That is not the way that working from home was meant to be.
Five Ways to combat Isolation issues when Working from Home
Cut the problem off at the pass. Use these five ideas to implement a way to stay connected from the outset of your home business life.
1 Leave the house – Get outside and breathe the fresh air and soak us some good old vitamin D every day. Take the kids out to play in the park. Run your errands in the middle of the day when you are spoiling for a break.
2 Separate your work life and home life – This can be as simple an act as closing the door to your home office. Hang a sign on the door like a brick and mortar business that shows the hours of operation. When you close the door, there is freedom.
3 Chat with family and friends – Use Skype and Windows Live to see the people who are important in your life. Take time to reconnect with them even if a physical visit is out of the question right now.
4 Plan a few outings – Set lunch dates with friends or your spouse. This is an excuse to get out of the house and to catch up with them over a good meal.
5 Network – Hobnob with other business professionals at local Chamber of Commerce events. Check to see when there will be professional conferences in your area and register to attend.
Stay sane while you work at home by staying connected with others.
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Nick Thorne is the founder of NicksDigitalSolutions Limited, a company specializing in Education, Training and Writing. He lives in Levin, New Zealand.