Five Ways to Stay Connected While Working from Home
Working from home can be isolating. Quickly comparing it to my pre-mom life as a publicist at a large agency, the differences are glaring. No more in person meetings, lunch dates, team building exercises, unexpected client pop-ins, and more. Now it's me, a cup of coffee, my cell, and my laptop. Don't get me wrong, I love working from home. It allows me to be there for my son when he needs me, and still do all the things that I want to do as a mother. But, there is a bit of face-to-face time that I miss. I'm sure I'm not alone. Here are five ways that I've found helpful in staying connected with friends and co-workers while working from home.
Have you ever used the app on your iPhone? If you have a Mac computer you can also FaceTime with anyone who has similar Mac products. I love this feature because you can chat “face to face” with anyone, anywhere. There's something to be said for that, even if it's happening right from your desk. Don't have a Mac or an iPhone? Try utilizing Skype – the free online video conferencing app.
Weekly or Monthly Coffee Meetings
My work-from-home friends and I have set up a monthly coffee talk meeting. We sit, we drink, we eat, and we commiserate about our current gigs. It's the equivalent to a lunch outing during the work week, but since we're at home we get even more out of our gab fests. I always leave feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next thing that comes my way.
If you're far from friends or colleagues, try MeetUp.com. It's a great place to find like-minded groups of people who are looking to learn from each other. As their slogan goes, “Meet ups are neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something.” A quick search in my neighborhood turned up several groups of moms in different professions who meet weekly. There are also a ton of mommy and me options, if that is what you are looking for. A good network of moms is something everyone wants and needs.
Is there a local blogging network or writers’ association in your neighborhood? Maybe a mother's co-op of working parents? It's always worth looking into and the amount of new contacts made will be well worth the time.
Pick Up the Phone
How many times have you emailed, texted, or even Facebooked, when you could have just picked up the phone? How many times have things got lost in translation due to a mis-worded memo? Try going old school and picking up the phone every now and again to open the lines of communication. You never know what it could lead to – new information, new job leads, and more.
Moms, how do you stay connected while working from home?
Image via iStock