Remote work is lonely. There’s no getting around that. There have been weeks where I’ve spent days on end alone in my apartment. I’ll admit it, being is nice in moderation. But over time it becomes a bad habit.
Here is a list of 3 reasons why freelancing is lonely and how you can deal with it:
1) Your Friends Still Work a 9-to-5
When I first left my job to do remote work, I went home and looked at my Google Calendar. It was empty. I had complete freedom to organize my schedule the way I wanted to. I was super excited and thought about all the fun things I could do during the weekdays.
However, I soon realized that just because I was free didn’t mean that any of my friends were. My friends were still doing the 9-to-5 grind, so we could only hang out after their work hours or on the weekends.
With that in mind, I started scheduling my work day loosely around a 9-to-5. This way I would be occupied during traditional work hours and can free up my time when my friends were also available.
2) You Stay Home Too Much
This is the biggest problem for me. Sometimes, I spend two to three days without leaving my apartment, except when using the gym in my building. It is definitely convenient to not have to leave home. But over time, it makes you unproductive, lonely, and anti-social.
Working in different locations and being around other human beings is healthy and beneficial. Good places to work include coffee shops, libraries, and coworking spaces.
If you prefer to work at home like I do, you can schedule designated breaks to leave the house. To unwind, I like to go for walks, bike or read a book in a coffee shop. It’s also a good idea to schedule your errands to break up the work day. This way you hit two birds with one stone.
3) Work Life Balance Isn’t a Thing
In the absence of an enforced work day, it becomes challenging to separate work from life. In a 9-to-5, there is a clear separation between working and non-working hours.
When it comes to remote work, this is not the case. Since you can take work with you anywhere you go, there’s always the temptation to work a little more. This can have a big impact on your social life.
The way to fix this is to schedule your work days. Define clear hours for work and clear hours for leisure. If you find yourself easily distracted, check out my 3 productivity tips for working from home to stay on schedule.
Remote Work Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely
As a remote worker, you hold more control over your schedule than in-person workers. And with great power comes great responsibility. You will need to demonstrate the self-control and the drive to schedule your work day the way you see fit.
It is definitely hard at first. But over time and after some trial-and-error you will find a workflow that works best for you.