Not to state the obvious, but working on your own means working alone. In fact, that very well may have been the allure of becoming a freelancer in the first place, and helped you make the leap from office drone to a lone entrepreneur/adventurer. However, working alone can quickly lead to an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. That everyday sense of liberation gets replaced by a longing for human interaction. It’s normal. Everyday life happens without the gathering around the coffee machine, staff gossip and lunch break catch-ups – and you’re going to miss it.
So what do you do when you’re feeling lonely and down in the dumps? We have compiled a list of tips and tricks that even the most reluctant, introverted (and yet somehow lonely) freelancer can use to feel whole again:
This does not have to be the obligatory pull out your phone and take a topographical snap of your cup of coffee; instead, take a thirty-minute break to meet, engage and truly catch up with a friend, or other freelance colleagues. It will allow you to share your experiences in a relaxed environment and get you out among people. In addition, you should schedule any meetings at a coffee shop instead of your home office, making you feel part of the daily buzz.
Contrary to its focus-diminishing reputation, social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can bear some fruit. They allow you to rekindle old friendships, rediscover family and make alliances that can prove to be beneficial for your business venture. The key is to know how to communicate on each platform and not allow it to dominate your day.
On LinkedIn, keep your interactions professional as if you were conversing with a potential investor, partner or client. Facebook allows you to have conversations of a more social nature, so you can enjoy virtual office banter of sorts, especially with your freelance friends. The great thing about social media is it allows for regular interaction without having to suffer face-to-face interactions. Twitter is also a good medium to catch up on the day’s news, and with your professional colleagues. It’s also a good place to vent your frustrations; try trolling Donald Trump, it feels so good.
In this day and age, it isn’t difficult to find groups and gatherings of likeminded individuals. These gatherings can take place in the virtual realm, in online forums and chat groups, or can be just down the street at your favourite pub or coffee shop. When the opportunity presents itself, we advise you to seize it, as you can build relationships with people who will enhance your social and work life. In fact, you may even discover your next partner (business or otherwise).
Last but not least, there is a solution that allows you to enjoy the previous three avenues and more – that solution is the co-working office space. Here, you can reap all the rewards of your former life as an employee, but still maintain your individuality and freedom. Gatherings around the coffee machine, lunch break catch-ups and gossip are all readily available. You get to enjoy the working company of people who have similar interests, opening up both business and social opportunities. You get to work in a creative environment, where you can collaborate with likeminded freelancers, get a second opinion on your work or have your creative flame reignited.
Being a freelancer doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go it alone. Join a co-working office space and enjoy the best of both worlds, then watch your entrepreneurial passion and career flourish and blossom.
Work and Co has an exquisitely designed co-working office space where you can connect, grow and create with likeminded individuals. Get in touch today and be part of an environment that helps you thrive.
© Work & Co. 2018.