How to beat freelancer loneliness
Working for yourself is the dream
You’re the boss and you set the rules…and then break them. Fancy a lie in on a Monday morning? Go on then. Early finish to meet your friends? You deserve it. We also get that working from home can be, at times, isolating. You start to miss the office banter, tea rounds *when you’re not making them* and having a team to bounce ideas off.
It’s not surprising really. You’ve gone from working in an office filled with a variety of people to working completely independently. It’s a big jump so go easy on yourself and remember, you’re not alone. According to Sage, 39% of people who freelance have experienced loneliness and that’s just freelancers who admit or recognise that they’re lonely. Millennials are suffering the most, with 54% freelancing 24-34-year olds saying they’ve experienced loneliness.
At Moda, we expect a lot of our residents will be freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners, spending a large amount of time working from home. That’s why we’ve created the Moda community, as a new way to beat the loneliness of freelancing. For example, our neighbourhoods provide residents with flexible workspaces and bookable meeting rooms to enjoy whilst working around likeminded people.
To offer more food for thought on banishing the blues, below are some top tips on how to feel more connected when working from home…
Get face to face
According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, 2.4 million adult British residents suffer from chronic loneliness. When you work for yourself from home, it’s likely that you will be part of this statistic. Not having a team or manager to speak with on a daily basis can make it very easy for loneliness to creep up on you.
Try getting offline and meeting up with clients as much as you can, or at the very least pick up the phone and have more calls than emails. Set a day of the month for you to go into the client’s offices for a working meeting. Not only will this be a productive use of your time, but you will come away feeling a lot more connected.
Co-working environments are also inspiring places to work and feel connected as you’re surrounded by other freelancers and business owners chipping away. At Moda, this is super easy to do with our flexible working spaces, so, if you’re feeling the loneliness bug you can take yourself down to a room filled with people just like you. Suits and leggings both welcome.
Get a pet
A fury friend makes the perfect roommate and working companion. Think about it, they will always be there to hear you to practice that pitch for the 85th time! You can take them for long walks to clear your head and bring them along to client meetings to break the ice. Seems like a barking good idea to us.
A pretty standard rule of renting is that keeping pets is a big ‘no no’. Well, you know Moda, we’re changing the rules of renting so, naturally, we welcome pets with open arms. We get it, they’re not just pets they’re your roommate. Your most loyal friend and now, business partner. Googles *pets in suits*.
Collaborate with like minded people
It doesn’t matter where the great idea comes from as long as it’s been created!
Who says that you can’t chat to likeminded people in your industry about your next project? You may even learn something new…
If you’re a copywriter, find other copywriters and bloggers in your area and see what helps them power through a creative block, or that amazing app that proofreads copy quickly.
If you’ve recently just created a business and finding the finances are going over your head, you may just bump into a finance expert who can offer some free, friendly advice. The point is, you never know who you might meet.
Catch up with friends for breakfast or at lunch
If you have friends who work nearby or start later on Fridays, grab some time with them to have breakfast or lunch to break up the day. Make it a regular thing, even it’s every other week. Then if you’re feeling lonely, you know you have that date booked to bank on.
There’s no reason to make this work-related. Sit back and enjoy a coffee hour with your friend. The work will still be there after.
Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself further…
When you’re already feeling lonely, you fall into this vicious cycle and then spiral into negativity. This can make engaging with other people seem like the last thing you want to do. This is by far the worst thing you can do.
Get out the house when you feel lonely and go somewhere you can feel and hear the hustle and bustle of other people. If you don’t feel confident to talk to other people that’s ok, just be around them. You will be able to see other people working alone and you will remember lots of other freelancers are in the same position.
Don’t forget to share this article with any of your freelancer friends. Even the ones who seem super popular, you never know.
If you’re keen to learn more on living in a connected neighbourhood, head over to our locations to find a Moda near you.