In my last post I shared exactly how to set your home business up for success.
But as your business flourishes, there’s one possible downside to working from home that, sooner or later, you’ll likely have to deal with.
And that’s loneliness.
It doesn’t matter whether you run your own business or work remotely as an employee, feelings of loneliness and isolation are common amongst those of us who regularly work from home.
And whilst many of us don’t like to admit when we’re suffering, in their 2019 annual report Buffer found that loneliness remained one of the biggest challenges felt by home workers.
The problem with loneliness is that, over time, it can have a damaging effect on your physical and mental wellbeing. It can then lead to multiple associated issues such as a simple lack of productivity, even depression.
It’s therefore important to recognise the impact that loneliness can have, and to take positive steps from the very beginning to fight it.
The good news is that in today’s world there are lots of ways to stay connected and maximise social interaction.
And even better, when you do surround yourself with people, particularly likeminded people, your business gets a boost too!
So, here are 8 surefire ways that you can defeat loneliness in your home business for good:
1. Schedule Time To Work In Busy Places
It seems simple, but when you work for yourself YOU have complete control over where and when you work.
So it’s important to make the most of your freedom whenever you can.
It really can boost your motivation.
One simple way to achieve this is to build time into your regular routine to work in public places. To soak up the hustle and bustle of a busy atmosphere and connect with other people, even simple everyday conversations.
A cafe, library, hotel or even the local park are all great places to set up your temporary workspace.
Remember, it’s never been easier to set up a remote workspace with just your laptop. Most public places have free WiFi, and your smartphone most likely has the ability to create a WiFi hotspot so that you can stay connected on the move. So there’s no excuse!
2. Build More Social Time Into Your Day
If you’re working away from home, why not invite someone along to keep you company?
Remember, you’re in control of your time, so if you want to maximise your work time to socialise at the same time, you can!
Whether this means coffee or breakfast with a friend or neighbour, spending extra time with your kids, even walking the dog, make time in your work schedule to socialise in ways you wouldn’t be able to if you worked for an employer.
3. Find (Or Start) An Accountability Group
An accountability group is a great way to grow your network with likeminded people who are often going through similar experiences.
The idea is that the group share their goals, and then support each other to reach them.
Meeting regularly to report on progress, mastermind on overcoming challenges and to hold each other accountable, these groups often lead to forming long lasting friendships through shared experiences and deep connections.
So, where to find an accountability group? That leads me on to…
4. Find A Community Online
Today there is an online group for pretty much any subject you can imagine. The internet has made the world a small place.
From Facebook groups to forums (that’s right, they still exist), there are places where people go to find likeminded individuals to share experiences and to help each other. It really is amazing how much support you can find, and how many people are willing to give their time to help!
I’m personally part of a global community of online business owners and entrepreneurs, and we regularly hold webinars and calls to mastermind, share experiences and help each other overcome obstacles.
We use a free video conferencing service and It’s a great way to connect both individually or as a group to mastermind or simply connect for a conversation.
5. Find A Co-Working Space
Co-working and managed workspaces are common in most towns and cities and offer flexible services, usually for a small fee.
As a modern workspace designed to cater for individuals and growing businesses, they are a great place to set up a dedicated desk or just drop-in to work in a busy environment.
Shared workspaces offer everything you need to help your business succeed, from support staff, meeting spaces, internet access and coffee through to gym membership and targeted networking events.
In other words, there’s lots of opportunity to surround yourself with likeminded people.
As an alternative – you could search out a desk in the office of a friendly business owner.
And remember, you don’t always have to pay cash to create a space for your business!
If your business provides a specialism (and online business skills are great for this) then your specialism can be exchanged for a small space to run your business along with access to shared resources.
You just have to be creative!
6. Lean On Your Network
A need for social interaction is a great excuse to dig into your existing network, or the prompt you need to find other small business owners in your area and schedule time to work together.
As well as beating loneliness, this is also a great way to overcome any challenges you have with your business. The ability to mastermind with others and share experience and resources really can help you get ahead.
Or, it can be a great opportunity for you to add value by sharing your own knowledge and experience to help others overcome challenges in their businesses.
You may find you have skills you never know you had (in other words, discover new services that you can charge for)!
7. Stop Work And Spend Time With Family & Friends
Building a set time into your routine to stop work for the day is extremely important. It creates much needed separation between your business and and personal life, and is especially important if you spend much of the day alone.
More specifically, it creates space for you to enjoy time with the people closest to you, whether it’s a meal with your family, reading a bedtime story to your kids or a boozy meal out with friends.
And with your business day ended, you can focus on being present and connecting with those around you.
8. Be Social On Social Media
When you run your own business there’s always something important that needs doing, so it cant feel senseless to spend your valuable time on social media.
But the reality is, most modern businesses use one or more social media platforms. It’s a great way to connect with your customers and offers a way to share news and information instantly. It also helps keep you up to date with your sector or niche.
But it’s also a fantastic way to engage and interact with your audience, and even develop real friendships!
So why not make yourself available? Start a conversation with your audience or respond to direct messages.
I hope you found this post helpful – if so, don’t forget to share it!
And I’m always keen to hear from you, so please leave a comment below or contact me directly if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.