“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” – Tennessee Williams
One of the greater challenges of working remotely is maintaining a healthy level of connection to others; our family, our friends, our colleagues, and our acquaintances. Working alone we easily fall prey to common “disconnection” traps;
- Overly focused and engrossed in our work or work distractions at the expense of relationships.
- Isolating ourselves in our home office, sometimes for days at a time.
- Fail to break away from work for in person socialization.
- Reliance on email, instant messaging, and other social media exclusively for connection with others.
- Losing balance by not maintaining outside interests and activities.
Connection to others is one of the key factors to emotional and physical health, and individual happiness. People with five or more close friends that they can consistently trust and rely on have been proven to have greater satisfaction with their lives, recovery more quickly from illness and loss, and have a generally higher level of fitness and longer life.
As a remote worker, you need to consciously create and follow a strategy to maintain and grow relationships, and stay healthily connected. Here are some strategies that I have found successful;
- On working days or when “on the clock”, schedule regular short breaks throughout the day away from the physical work location. This could include a quick walk with a family member, or coffee or lunch with a friend or acquaintance. The activity is not important, spending time with others outside your work location is.
- Become involved and engaged during your non-work hours by creating an active, connected life. You can accomplish this by joining a gym and signing up for classes, joining clubs, volunteering, becoming active in your church or faith group, taking night classes, and many other activities. An excellent site for finding clubs and activities is meetup.com, they have every imaginable interest available.
- Stay connected with work colleagues. Whether you work remote or in a bustling office it is important to create, maintain and grow your professional relationships. If you are located in the same city as your colleagues, plan regular outings together as a team, if not, use technology to maintain connection; videoconference, phone, instant messenger, and so forth.
- Use social media to keep up with friends and family. Keep up with friends and family using Facebook, email, and other social media. Schedule time during your day to “batch” your social media communication so it is not a constant interference and distraction.
- Work “outside the box”. On a regular basis, work from a coffee shop or restaurant for a change or scenery.
I welcome your feedback and would love to hear you comments and personal experience with this top. Find this helpful? Please subscribe to RemoteWorker Daily and forward this post to three friends.