Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Overcoming loneliness as a freelancer

Caught up in the excitement of setting up my own business and working from home, I didn't give much thought to the concept of loneliness. I liked my own company, so surely this wasn't going to be a problem? Loneliness is something that a lot of home-workers can feel, however comfortable they are with being alone. Freelancers can spend many hours working in isolation, so are there ways to minimise the feelings of remoteness?

  • Work from a coffee shop - this is a great way of working in company, without the distraction of having to have a conversation. Plus, someone else makes the drinks. Bonus!

  • Find a hobby - find an exercise or yoga class or other hobby where you can socialise with like-minded people during the day, or evening. Use the flexibility of being freelance to your advantage. After a morning yoga class I always feel in a much better frame of mind for working and often have my most productive days afterwards.

  • Walk the dog - seriously! This is a very sociable form of exercising and a great way to meet people in your village or community.

  • Reach out to fellow freelancers/home-workers - and arrange to meet, perhaps monthly or every fortnight, to exchange ideas and network over a coffee or lunch.

  • Work in a client's office - firstly, working as part  of a client team helps to combat any loneliness. Secondly, some clients are very happy for you to hot-desk in their offices. It's a brilliant way of building a good working relationship, and occasional face-to-face meetings can be very productive.