With the internet revolution and the rapid rise in self-employment since the start of the recession, more and more people are now operating their business from the comfort of their own home. This undoubtedly has its benefits. Get up when you want, sit in your pyjamas all day and never miss a parcel delivery ever again! Sounds perfect right? But what about the loneliness? The limited interaction with the outside world and the deafening silence day in day out? How do you prevent this from becoming a problem and severely affecting your health and mental wellbeing?

Here are some simple steps you can take to ease the loneliness experienced by many work-at-home freelancers.

A Place Of Work

You should have a clearly defined work station in your home. A desk, a private office, an attic room or a shed at the bottom of the garden. This is where you go to work and the rest of the house is your home. Clearly identifying these areas will help to separate work and the rest of your life and prevent the two from mingling into one. If you don’t have the room consider looking at using serviced office space which will get you out of the house and travelling to a place of work. 

Create A Space You Want To Work In

Make your work space as comfortable, interesting and as inspiring as possible. Furnish it in a way that makes you feel happy so that it is a place you want to be. Add photographs of family members, posters, inspiring quotes or items that remind you of your dreams and ambitions. A source of natural light is also essential so whenever possible open windows and blinds to allow daylight to flood in. Invest in professional office furniture that supports your posture and prevents common injuries such as back pain and eye strain. 

Get Into A Routine

Get out of bed at the same time every day. Enjoy a coffee, some breakfast and a bit of early morning television you keep you up to speed with recent news. Then get dressed and go to your work station. This routine will help with motivation and time management. What will also help with your time management is using apps such as Harvest. This will enable you to see where your time is being spent and how you can change things to get more done.

Social Interaction

Take a proper lunch break and ideally leave the house for an hour or so. Take the dog for a walk, go to a local cafe or meet up with a friend for a chat. This will offer you some much needed fresh air to clear your head and the opportunity to chat with others about something other than work. 

Interact Through Hobbies & Activities

Make time for hobbies, particularly those that involve other people. Join a gym and take part in group activities such as football or netball. If sport is not your thing then maybe a discussion group at your local library or a pudding club at the pub is more your style.

Pick Up The Phone

It is easy these days to rely on email as a quick and anonymous form of communication. But it will benefit your business, your confidence and your well-being to actually pick up the phone and speak to people once in a while. Building relationships is the key to a successful business and a more fulfilled life. 

Online Communities

Joining online forums is also a good way to make contact with like minded individuals. These can be work related or to do with your interests outside work. Either way, they get you communicating, socialising and interacting with others on a regular basis.Working from home can be hugely rewarding but you need to get the balance right to really get the most from it.