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Working at Home as a Sociable Person

Many of us have this idea of how great it would be to work at home. We envision being able to work on our own schedule, at our own pace. Maybe we want to sit on the couch, listening to music. Maybe we love the idea of working in our bare feet and pajamas. Or our underwear. Or nothing at all. But one thing that we tend to overlook is what it would be like working at home as a sociable person.

All By Myself

Work Uniform

Work Uniform

I’m one of those barefoot, in-my-underwear types. On hot days… you can imagine. Or not. You’d probably prefer not. For the most part, I think it’s great. I get to see my kids on the days that they are not at school or in daycare, and get to be with my wife on her days off. If I need a day for some other emergency, hey, no problem.

What can be an issue, though, is that I am someone who likes people. While I grew up as a pretty shy kid who often kept to himself, I always enjoyed observing people. No, not in a creepy stalker way, but in the sense that I like to know what makes people tick, what motivates them and how they respond to certain situations.

I also enjoy getting to know people and finding out more about them. While most of my jobs were less-than-ideal, I always liked the people I worked with  and formed close relationships with many of them. When you work at home, you simply don’t have that anymore.

Ooh, Shiny!

When you start working at home, one of things that you may have trouble with is Shiny Object Syndrom. You may find yourself getting distracted. A lot. Whether it be your kids, your pets, wanting to know what your neighbour is up to, or something else entirely, it is easy to lose focus. Some people might get distracted by a bird singing outside their window, or start singing along to the radio instead of using it as background noise. If you are someone who enjoys social contact, it can be even worse.

If you find yourself missing other people, missing that sense of cammeraderie and teamwork that working in a more traditional environment provides, then you may have some difficulty working at home. You will quite possibly find yourself seeking human contact in places like Facebook, which is really not someplace you want to go when you are trying to get work done. All it takes is one cute dog video, or one “you won’t believe what happened next!” type of post to get you thoroughly derailed, and if you’re like me, that loss of momentum can be very problematic.

So, What to Do?

There are a few things that come to mind, though not everything works for everyone, obviously. It depends on your mood, your needs, your personality… any number of things. But if you find yourself needing a bit more interaction than you are having, maybe you can consider one or more of the following:

  • Schedule social time and stick to it. I am growing ever-fonder of scheduling my day, or at least laying out the basic things that I need to accomplish. Use Facebook if you have to. Go out with a friend. Call a family member. Just be sure to set a time limit on how long you will spend away from work and follow it.
  • Find a Place to Work. Maybe you can go use the Wi-Fi at the library, or go for coffee somewhere where there is a bit of a crowd. Sometimes we just like to have people around us even if we are not actively engaging with them. The obvious drawback is that you can’t go in your underwear…
  • Get a Work Partner. Do you know someone else who works online? Maybe the two of you can work together, Take turns at each other’s home, or perhaps go out somewhere and work together. You can keep each other company as well as offer each other support.
  • Have a MentorSometimes having someone take an interest in what you are doing can be enough to give you that sense of interaction. When I got started, I had people who would keep in touch with me to see how I was progressing, and I am happy to do the same for others.

You Needn’t be Lonely

Work with a Friend

Work with a Friend

Working at home doesn’t need to be a lonely enterprise. People are social animals, so we need to keep that in mind as we plan out our day. Whether it requires having people around us, someone to talk to, or a bit of social media, most of us like to keep some sort of contact with others. Just remember that you are creating a business, so the majority of your time should be spent on your work, just as it would be in any traditional type of employment.

If you are working at home and finding that you have trouble concentrating, get up and go for a walk. Talk to someone. Interact a bit, then come back to your work. You may find that short breaks and a little companionship help you to get your focus back.

Still want to work at home and want to know where to start? Right Here!

I wish you all the best and I am here to help!

Craig

 

Craig

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2 Comments

Jessica

Craig,
I have not seen anyone address this aspect of working from home before. I especially liked your suggestion to find a work partner to help stay on track while still interacting. Great idea! Hopefully as online work becomes more and more common, this will be easier to find!

Reply
Craig

I think it’s actually something that’s very easy to overlook; almost everyone who wants to work from home has a vision of how great it will be– and it absolutely can be– but we have to remember that most of us crave interaction with others, at least to some degree. A work partner can be great not only for the social side of things, but also to bounce ideas off of and get instant feedback, and sometimes a simple little conversation can be the catalyst for excellent things to write about.

Thanks for commenting! Much appreciated!

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