For some, working at home can be the key to creating work life balance. You can spend quality time with the family and set your work schedule accordingly. But spending the majority of your time caring for small children and/or working all alone day in and day out can over time lead to feelings of isolation. The feeling of being all alone in the world can actually sap your creativity and focus if it continues unchecked. A healthy work-at-home solution overcome separation from the rest of the world.
Sometimes the only living people a work-at-home mom encounters on a daily basis is her children and/or spouse. Most of us need more human contact than that- especially coming from working outside the home with constant social interaction. Working alone in front of a computer everyday can be a rude awakening.
One major drawback to isolation are the mental challenges. Maybe in the beginning you were gung-ho and laser-focused on your new business or job; but now you’re suddenly missing your friends and adult conversations. Within a few months, the effects start to take a toll. Concentration drops, anxiety builds, and maybe even a bit of depression creeps in.
Preventing the issue before it develops, is your best solution. These five ideas can help you remain connected to the world at large while working at home.
1. Leave the house – Get outside and breathe the fresh air and soak us some good old vitamin D every day. Take the kids to play in the park. Run your errands in the middle of the day when you need to take a break.
2. Separate your work life and home life – This can be as simple an act as closing the door to your home office during designated work hours. Hang a sign on the door like a brick and mortar business to remind everyone in your family of your hours of operation.
3. Chat with family and friends often – Use Skype and Google Chat to see the people who are important in your life. Take time to reconnect with them, even if an in-person visit is out of the question for now.
4. Plan regular outings – Set lunch dates with friends and your spouse. This is a good excuse to get out of the house and catch up over a good meal.
5. Network offline – Mix and mingle with other business professionals at your local Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Association events. Check to see when professional conferences will be available in your area and register to attend.
Remember, the key to work at home sanity is maintaining connections with others.