Beware! Working from Home Can Make You a Loner
By Vishal P Rao
The present day super-competitive lifestyle hardly leaves any time for socializing activities. The only time that you get during weekends, if any, is consumed doing household errands. Even if you do get time, you hardly have any energy left to venture out for social gatherings. You would rather get a DVD and spend the time lazing around on your couch.
Many of these people, like I did, tend to look for more flexible options like working from home so that they can dictate when they work. While working from home does allow for a lot of freedom and self regulation too, there are various pitfalls to working from home that need to be guarded against. And one among those is the possibility of becoming a loner. The very reason that you choose to work from home - work whenever you want, can become your biggest threat. In majority of the cases, you end up working (or thinking of work) all the time leaving absolutely no time for socializing and going out.
Even when you do not have time to go out and meet friends after work or throw a party at home on a weekend, the fact is that a regular job allows you to go out each day and interact with a fair number of people. There are many of us who find good friends at the workplace and then take these friendships out of the office even after we change jobs or start to work from home. The daily interactions, chats over coffee and even official dinners allow you to unwind and let your hair loose for some time.
Most of the interactions in the life of a work at home entrepreneur is either through email or over phone. Face to face interactions are limited and therefore there is hardly any chance of general talk.
In addition to this, if you have had a high strung career and have been busy most of the times, it is possible that you have already lost touch with many of your erstwhile college friends or family friends that you may have had earlier. It seems a bit awkward to start to call them when you are suddenly more flexible and working from home. You tend to get typecast into a busy person and in most cases are left out of plans for going to the mall in the afternoon or lunch get-togethers.
Most people would have converted their passion into work and hence would find it very difficult to drag themselves out from work for activities like watching movies or small outings. For those who are passionate about their work, it seems such a waste of time to spend precious hours at the mall, window shopping when you could be sitting at your computer clocking paid hours or completing projects.
No matter what the reason, it is clear that working from home can indeed make you a recluse unless you take necessary steps to prevent such a possibility. Extended period of staying alone or only interacting with your family and staying indoors can affect your mental and physical health. It certainly affected mine to such extent that many a times I contemplated quitting this work from home stuff altogether and start some real business to simply get connected to the real world!
Below are some tips that can help you avoid falling in to the trap and becoming a loner when you work from home.
* Choose a hobby that takes you out - Pursuing an activity that makes you leave your home is a wise decision. It need not necessarily be an activity that you love doing. Leaving your home is more important here. It not be a hobby as such. Activities like exercising, sports, swimming, aerobics, apart from making you healthy can also be used to socialize.
* A family outing - On holidays and weekends, planning to short trip to a nearby location with other families can be a lot of fun. Take the initiative and plan something and then check if your friends would like to join in.
* Ease into your old friend circle - It may not be easy for you to start getting in the groove with friends whom you have not been connected to for a while. Don't feel shy and take the initiative. Social networks help in getting acquainted before actually calling up and making plans for a get together or something like that.
* Plan a dinner party - If you are not being included as part of social get-togethers because you have been out of the circuit for so long, you can initiate the process by calling some friends over for a dinner party. A start can be made by celebrating a birthday or an anniversary before you move on to casual dinner parties.
* Kids are a great source of making new acquaintances - If you are having difficulty chatting up with your neighbors after you have been seeing through them in the past, it is important to note that your kids can be a great source of making new acquaintance. All relationships start with a short conversation. You just have to make that initial move. It takes over automatically thereafter.
If you feel that you are falling into a loner trap, be conscious about it and take some steps to avoid becoming someone who does not like to talk to or interact with anyone.
For more practical tips and advice for starting and running a home based business, visit: http://www.home-based-business-opportunities.com/