Remote work can be isolating, but we can find creative ways to overcome it. Here are a few ways we've been able to defeat the effects of social isolation while working from home.
This is probably the most accessible for many remote workers. Finding online communities that are dedicated spaces for remote folks, digital nomads or location independent individuals has the lowest barrier to entry. These spaces are usually free and they’re made up of very genuine and easy-going people who share the same struggle so others are willing to help resolve the effects of social isolation. Join a message forum or a Slack space. Try staying active in the community and maybe you’ll even end up with a few internet friends you can chat with daily.
Co-working spaces (virtual or physical)
Co-working spaces are fantastic as they provide that in-office feeling without actually being an "office worker". These spaces are usually spacious, clean, homey, and provide you with free coffee, snacks, and wifi. The biggest plus is that other people are working on their projects as well. By sharing a workspace with other co-workers, you won't feel as if you’re working alone.
Some co-working spaces require memberships (which can be a bit pricey) but some allow day passes to be purchased for a relatively affordable price. It’s an easy way to get out of the house and into a super quiet space.
Depending on your work style, this may be too loud for you. Maybe you don't want to leave smelling like delicious Guatemalan coffee beans (but who doesn’t love this?!?). Still, coffee shops might be just what you need. It’s not as expensive as frequenting a co-working space but you'll still be near other people. The noise might be a problem at some parts of your day, so make sure to plan any meetings for when you're in a quieter place.
In addition, you'll have opportunities to strike up a conversation in line or with the barista. There you go! Your human interaction for the day, complete! Mitigating the effects of social isolation is that easy. Plus, if you’re not a coffee drinker, there’s still usually snacks, tea, sparkling water, etc. there for you AND wifi and outlets.
For us introverted remote workers this may be the last thing we want to do BUT hear us out! You’ll find lots of opportunities at meetups to network and find others who are in the same boat as you. Check out Meetup for a number of groups or scroll through your local events on Eventbrite.
If you're the type of person who wants to make new connections but want to make sure you're meeting folks who share your interests and also work remotely, join us for a Cafecito - where you can meet your remote tribe weekly without needing to go anywhere.
Also check out our article on habits you should form to keep a healthy head space while working remote (www.meetcafecito.com/posts/healthy-habits-you-can-build-while-at-home-this-year)