Avoid becoming a social vegetable
A close friend constantly jokes about my new remote role, claiming that it won’t be long before I’m a social vegetable. It’s true, it is tough to cut out the human interaction you get from a traditonal office environment.
With a little creativity you’ll soon realize that working at home doesn’t mean giving up your day-to-day social interactions. There are tons of ways to keep your social skills from deteriorating while working remotely.
Attend industry events and meetups
If you don’t have an office, it’s important to mingle with like minded individuals in your field. I highly recommend attending a few local meetups related to your industry. It’s a great way to socialize with passionate people, and it’s completely free!
Work at coffee spot nearby
I’ve only done this a few times myself, but a former colleague and friend who works remotely swears by it.
It’s nice to encounter everyday conversations in the background, and it can improve creativity by mixing things up a bit. It also keeps those brain neurons firing!
Find a local desk for rent
If you’re a social person at heart and can’t do without the daily conversations that happen at work then I would suggest looking into renting a desk at an office in your area.
I highly suggest finding a place where you are surrounded by individuals closely aligned with your personal and professional goals, it helps create a productive environment by driving the incubation stage of creativity. Surrounding yourself with like-minded, driven professionals also has incredible benefits in fulfilling life goals.
In the Boston area you can find a nice desk space at a loft-style studio for about $250/month. The inspiration and advice gained from interactions with professionals everyday may be worth the investment for you.
Separate your office from your home life
Try to separate your home life from your office wherever possible. It’s been tremendously helpful to have a separate bedroom to use as an office upstairs. I find that it’s nice to have a work area isolated from areas where household tasks may pull you away from work. That means keeping it as far away from the kitchen, living room, or any room with a TV. It’s also nice to have a separate computer setup for work. I admit that I have a laptop I use for personal things and work, but I’ve found ways to separate things nicely so that I can quickly switch between work and play.
I do my personal browsing with Google Chrome, and all of my work with Firefox. I find this helps me separate what I do in both mentally, as a well as set boundaries for myself. (No Facebook from Firefox).
The organization and layout of your home office is very important. Small things you may take for granted can have large effects on your productivity.
A mans best friend
Dogs offer great companionship, and absolutely love it if you can be home all day! I’ve been able to spend a few minutes each day with the dog outside, and it’s been great. It’s also nice to have a little companionship around when your at home by yourself most of the day. If you’ve been considering bringing a dog into your home there’s no better time than when you are working from home.
Many people would love to be in a position where they could work entirely from home, and yet many seem to fear it. My experience has been amazing and I wouldn’t change it. I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity. Avoiding a mundane commute is invaluable, and finding ways to make yourself more productive benefits many other life habits. If you find yourself becoming a social vegetable, hopefully the suggestions above can help you re-energize those social aspects you may be missing.
About the Author
Kevin Leary is a freelance developer in Boston, MA with a strong portfolio of work, and over 13 years of experience as a programming consultant and digital strategy provider. Interested in working together? Hire me for your next project.