I worked from home for three years before getting my full-time job this past summer. One of my favorite parts of having a full-time office job is the socialization. I have two toddlers, so it’s really nice spending some time with adults every day. Working in an office made me realize just how important it is to keep up your social skills even when you work from home. While I did a pretty decent job with this during the time that I worked solely from home, I would make a few changes if I ever did solely work from home again.
Even though I love alone time and could spend all day completely by myself, I will admit that I feel happier when I have at least some socialization through out the day (and I’m not talking about with my kids). If you work from home or are looking to make some new friends, here are 10 ways to help you stay social.
10 Ways to Stay Social if You Work From Home
Talk on the Phone
I can’t tell you how many times I called up my mom to chat, even if just for five minutes. Talking with her on the phone rejuvenated me and gave me the energy I needed to make it through the day. Thanks, mom!
Get Out of the House
I cannot stress this enough. My girls and I leave the house every. single. day. Even if we just go through the Starbucks drive-thru, we make it a point to get out of the house. It’s so good to break up the routine of the day and get some fresh air. On the weekends, we also leave the house at least once per day – whether that’s going to the park or running an errand. When I’m out and about, I almost always have a nice conversation with a stranger. I’m a talker, and I’ve noticed people in the South are, too!
Meet a Friend Once a Week
You can meet a mom friend at the park, invite a couple over for dinner, or have lunch with a friend. You may be super busy with work and your own personal life, but making time for friendships is good for the soul.
Text Your Friends
I haven’t seen one of my best friends in nearly two years in person, however, we text each other every single day. We’re both moms to daughters, we work in an office and we freelance. Some days we have long conversations and other days we just check in and ask how the other person is doing. It is so nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of, talk to about my kids and marriage, and encourage in her own life, as well. Friendships are the best – near or far.
Work Away from Home
You don’t have to always work outside of your home (after all, that’s the best part of working from home is being able to actually stay home!), but if you find yourself going stir crazy, grab your laptop and head to the nearest coffee shop. You’ll be surrounded by other working individuals that will hopefully motivate you and make you feel like you’re a part of something. And, there’s coffee. Mmmmm.
Join a Coworking Space
This is the one thing I would have done differently looking back. A coworking space is where those that are freelancers or new start-ups can go to work without the distractions of a coffee shop or loneliness of the home office. You get to mingle with coworkers and enjoy the perks of being in an office, without actually having to punch a clock or answer to a boss. Coworking spaces are popping up throughout the U.S. Simply do a Google search of “coworking space” and your city to find one near you!
Hang Out with Your Spouse
So many couples drift once they’ve been married for a while and have a few kids. It’s understandable – we’re all busy. However, maintaining a healthy, fun relationship with your spouse is so important! When you work from home, this is especially true. Lean on your spouse during this time for extra support and a listening ear. Have a nightly conversation over a drink, go on a walk together or spend 10 minutes talking prior to watching television at night.
I’m not one to recommend joining a gym, but if you know you’ll use it and you work from home, it can be a great way to both get some exercise in and mingle with other people (especially if you take a class!).
Have Work Friends
Just because you freelance or work alone doesn’t mean you’re the only one doing that type of work. A new study by Upwork found that more than 53 million Americans are now freelancing. Surely, there are a few people you can connect with on a deeper level. I’ve met quite a few friends through this here blog. If nothing else, this blog has connected me to some incredible people that I am proud to call my friends! Blog (or work) friends are the best! They encourage you, they support you and they “get” you. If it weren’t for my blog friends, I know for a fact I would not be where I am today.
Socialize Outside of Work
What are your hobbies? If you love cooking, consider taking a group cooking class. If you love golf, go golfing once a month as a way to meet people with common interests. I’ve realized that when you work from home, as good as it can sometimes be, it is even more important to socialize throughout the week than it is for those working in an office.
Do you work from home? How do you make sure you stay socialized?!