Working from home is one of the best things about being a creative entrepreneur and working for yourself. Goodbye cubicles! Goodbye alarm clocks! So long, morning traffic jams! There are a long list of perks to enjoy (which is why friends and acquaintances never stop telling you how lucky you are). Who doesn’t long for the ability to set their own hours and deadlines, without a boss breathing down their neck? Or how about the freedom to work anywhere, any time? Even (let’s be honest) not having to get out of your PJs. And yet…
WORKING FROM HOME CAN BE HARD TOO
While the positives certainly outweigh the negatives, working from home isn’t always easy. What at first can seem like a dream set-up can easily turn sour, and leave you feeling down and alone. Without the structure you’re used to in an office, you can find yourself working at all hours and through the weekend, without ever switching off. Work can become all-consuming – after all, you can’t help taking your work ‘home’ with you when you ARE home, right? Then there’s all those distractions around the house, the friends and family who expect you to be always available, or the way that if you live alone, sometimes days go by without you ever speaking to another actual human. Working from home can be lonely and isolating, and if you don’t make some changes to your routine, take a toll on your general well-being.
Here are a few of the ways you can beat work from home loneliness (and not all of them require putting makeup on).
CREATE AN INSPIRING WORKSPACE
While working from bed or the kitchen table can be easy, try to create a space for yourself where you won’t get distracted by the dishes/kids/dog. It doesn’t need to be large (just search ‘closet desk’ on Pinterest to see how adorable a tiny office can be). Fill it with inspiring quotes or images to keep you motivated, and keep it orderly so that it’s a place of calm and inspiration. And the best part of having your own office? You can shut the door at the end of the day. It’s all about that work-life balance!
TREAT IT LIKE A JOB
One of the benefits of office life is that it provides structure, so treat your work at home job in the same way. Set office hours for yourself (even if they start at 10am). Get up, dressed, and ready to work. You’ll feel more professional and ultimately be more productive.
JOIN A NETWORK
Finding your biz tribe can be a gamechanger, as it has been for many Hive members. When you join a virtual network like the HiveTribe, you have access 24/7 to others who ‘get it’ and who have been where you are. Sharing your challenges will immediately make you feel less alone. Plus, you’ll also often pick up great tips from the people you meet along the way!
WORK OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
Working from a coffee shop is a freelance cliché for a reason. And yes, the conditions may not always be ideal for high-concentration work (uncomfortable chairs, not enough power outlets, noisy conversations), but just being around people can make you feel recharged. Try spending a few hours in your local Starbucks even once a week, and you’ll find it makes a big difference to those feelings of isolation.
GET YOURSELF OUT THERE
Even if you feel shy about meeting new people, force yourself to attend a few IRL events. The UKAWP Coffee Mornings, Girl Tribe Gang meetups, and monthly Hive co-working days are all great examples. Once you’ve built up your network, be proactive about organising regular lunches or coffee dates with fellow creative entrepreneurs, and soon you’ll feel like part of a community instead of an island on your own.
Want to give co-working a try and discover the Hive Vibe for yourself? Click here to attend one of our monthly co-working events on a trial basis, and break out of that work from home bubble!