With over 3.7 million employees working from home at least half the time, telecommuting is more popular than ever.
Those who work remotely at least once per month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive in their roles than those who can't or don't work remotely. In fact, companies that allow remote work experience have 25% less employee turnover.
Two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home increase their overall productivity.
Even more, 86% of employees say they’re most productive when they work alone—devoid of distractions like inefficient meetings, office gossip, or loud office spaces.
These statistics prove that working remotely definitely has its advantages, but it also its disadvantages too. A lack of community, difficulties with communication, jealousy and plain, old-fashioned loneliness. Because, hey, we're social people and we crave collaboration, interactions, and a cup of coffee with a friend sometimes.
As a work from home gal myself, there are some weeks where I need human interaction more than others. So today I'm sharing five ways to beat the work from home blues.
1. Leave your house for a bit and hit up a coworking space or coffee shop.
If you can work from anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal, then mix up your week by going to a favorite local spot to get a change of scenery. You will see that many others are doing the same thing and will be more then happy to take a break while working and have a conversation. This can really kick that isolation feeling.
2. Take your dang lunch break!
Working remotely can make you feel like you need to keep working through lunch. Fight the urge to do so and take that lunch break! Getting out of the house can dramatically change your mood and make the rest of the afternoon a piece of cake. Meet someone for lunch, take a walk around the block, sit under a tree with a book. Whatever it is just take that time to do something different. It will give you a pep in your step for the rest of the day and even clear your mind to help you work better.
3. Join a social group with others working remotely.
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can’t have a work friend just like you would in the office. Search social sites like LinkedIn or Facebook for groups that focus on those who work from home. You can meet someone who is in the same place as you and form the same kind of work relationship as if you worked in an office together.
4. Google Hangout with your Colleagues
Just because your co-workers are spread out across the country doesn’t mean you can’t work face-to-face. Through Google Hangouts you can join a team call or host a one-on-one meeting. The person isn’t actually working in the same room as you but you can still chat and accomplish anything you could in the office.
5. Prioritize your work day
Some of us wake up wanting to socialize and some of us like to do more of that in the afternoon. Whatever your preference is, schedule your work at the time of day that you are most comfortable being alone and getting lost in your work. For the other part of the day where time seems to drag on, schedule your calls, emails, and meetings to get more social. This will allow you to be the most productive and will leave you feeling in control.
I hope these tips help some of my fellow work from home peeps. I really love working from home but I have had to learn how to stay self-motivated after working in a social environment in the past. These tips really have helped me to beat the blues of working from home.
Heidi Wilcox is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. Have a suggestion for Heidi to help her beat the work from home blues? Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.