Whether you are a solopreneur or work in a large corporation and have a cubical or office, there are times when you feel lonely at work. We have all faced days that seem like everybody is busy with their work and own lives, and you're just not getting enough social interaction.
Social media has opened up a new stream to stay connected but it can go only so far. It's still mostly written interaction and even watching a video is fun, but it's still just you alone doing the watching.
Back in 1993 when I first opened my design studio, there was no real social media online and I was still learning all the software applications. It's funny thinking now, how much social media has become a part of my life and business and what it was like before. Obviously, back then I would interact with people on the phone and schedule get togethers, meetings or mail out materials to remind them of me.
For the past 17 years I have mostly been a solopreneur. On and off during the years I've had assistants, like I do today. I work from my home office each day and have some guidelines in place, because without them it would be much harder to build and grow my business, as well as maintain my lifestyle.
I remember when I was on staff all those years ago, and was leaving to open my own studio, friends would say to me, "oh, you'll love working from home because you set your own schedule, skip out for lunch, a movie, or watch afternoon tv.. like Oprah."
My reply was that the tv would never be on unless there was breaking news and I have maintained that guideline all these years. The afternoon lunch or movie, sure, every once in a while, especially on a movie's opening day!
So, how do I recommend staying connected? My top 5 tips:
1- Go outside everyday and do something active, while soaking up some sunshine. Take a walk while shooting photographs, go to the gym or ride a bicycle. You can schedule one of these activities with a friend or workmate to walk and chat during lunch or after work.
2- Call at least 1-2 people each day, one during the morning hours and one in the afternoon, this will give you some personal (somewhat live) interaction, or skype with someone, for a more 3D video call.
3- Hire an intern to work part time and that will bring a fresh outlook to your work day. They bring their own impressions, fresh ideas, and you have someone to bounce ideas off.
4 - Attend an opening or other type of event, once a week. During that day you will have something to plan, like who is going with you, what to wear, and where to go for dinner before or afterward. Invite a few social media friends so you see them in reality!
5- Try something new... take a class in something you're passionate about... perhaps a new language? (I study the Italian language on and off when I have time.) You'll have so much fun, learn something new and who knows the new friends you'll make! You can even find someone to practice with at lunchtime!
What other creative ideas can you think of to make your workday feel less lonely?