December 17, 2015
Working remotely is every professional’s dream come true, right? Take meetings in your pajamas, slip to the gym on your lunch break, eat whatever you want, whenever you want,and no bosses or coworkers getting in your business. Yep – it’s got its perks!
But, there is something no one ever tells you: you are alone all day by yourself. All alone. All day. By yourself. And for an extrovert like myself, I don’t really mesh well with that. My roommates used to refer to me as the house puppy because the second anyone walked in the door, I was so eager to be with them and to talk their ears off! So over, time I’ve come up with a variety of solutions to keep my social little personality in-check and preserve my roommates’ sanity; here are some effective ways for extroverts to work remotely (ways that could also work for everyone else!) .
1. Force Yourself to Have a Morning Routine
Okay, this might not be social, but I am a firm believer in the power of a productive morning. It is tempting when you work from home to sleep in until the last minute, roll out of bed, and then flip open your laptop to start working. Don’t do this. Figure out your routine. Maybe you wake up, go to the gym, make a quick breakfast, shower, and then start working.
2. Serious Work Parties
A friend and I started these “serious work parties” a few years ago and they've been surprisingly successful. The first time I worked with my friend at his house, I thought it would be a disaster and that we wouldn’t be able to get anything done, so I made him sign a hypothetical agreement that we would be serious at our work party. He worked out of his bedroom and I worked from his kitchen table and we only met up for lunch or small breaks during the day. So team up with your other remote working friends, but just make sure they sign they understand the rules of a “serious work party.”
3. Virtual Lunch Dates
I was confessing to one of my coworkers in Chicago that I sometimes get lonely being home alone all day, and – surprisingly – she had been feeling the same way! So we set up time on our calendars for lunch every day and we take 20-30 minutes to eat our lunches together over Google Hangout and just catch up on our personal lives – just like we would if we worked in an office together. The only downside: you can’t trade food.
4. Take a Break to Call Family Members or Old Friends
If you’re anything like the rest of us, you probably have a laundry list of things you have to get done after work every day, making it hard to find that time to call your family members or old friends. Lately, I’ve been solving this solution by taking small 10-minute breaks during the day to call my parents or to Facetime a niece or nephew. You can keep the conversations short, but its definitely a great pick-me-up during the day! Plus, if the conversation gets weird you have the easy excuse that you have to jump off for a meeting. Problem solved!
5. Get a Pet
I sometimes think that getting a puppy would solve all of life's problems. Unfortunately I'm a renter with a strict “no pets” policy so I can't recommend this one out of experience, but I hear that having a four-legged friend can really help. At the very least, you can start directing all those conversations you had with yourself to your new pal.
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