When I started working from home, my daily interactions were limited to my toddler and newborn — not exactly the thought-provoking conversations I experienced with my peers. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world, but connecting with other adults can be a sanity saver for a telecommuter. Stay connected with these networking ideas.
Join a Club
Many cities offer networking groups or small-business owner associations that you can join. This connects you with others who work on contract, telecommute or own their own businesses. Not only do you get adult contact, you may find new networking opportunities or partnerships you wouldn’t have otherwise found. You can bounce ideas off your new support group. The groups often have meetings or learning sessions that pertain to the self-employed, so it could double as a learning experience.
Rent Shared Space
Another feature found in many communities is shared work spaces. People who are self-employed can rent a desk or office in the space. Other people doing their own business also share the space. Like joining a networking club, you may find some great inspirations and connections. You also get a quiet, dedicated work space — ideal if you don’t have enough room for a home office.
Just because you left behind your colleagues doesn’t mean you can’t still meet up with them. Schedule lunch dates with your former colleagues or friends who have regular office jobs. You get a break from home and an hour of adult interactions. You may even find out about a consulting opportunity with your friends’ employers that could boost your workload from home.
Your social interactions don’t have to fall during the work day. Schedule regular gatherings with your friends on evenings and weekends. I have a standing monthly girls night out with a core group of friends. I look forward to those nights on the town.
As a work from home mom, you likely have the tendency to work whenever you have time, even on nights and weekends. Taking the occasional break can give you the breather you need to refocus and be more productive.
Get Out There
Connecting with peers as a work from home mom often requires you to go outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to meet new people through networking opportunities. You’ll enjoy the adult conversations and may even boost your business.