The other day someone asked me how I maintain a social life while working remotely. My answer was simple, I don’t. On the social spectrum, I’d say I’m the definition of an introvert. I have a confession though; it doesn’t really bother me.
Most of my day is spent working and the rest is spent hanging out with my family. I don’t often go out for a pint or attend local meetups. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meeting with a friend every now and then, but I don’t typically seek it out.
I’ve been working as a Software Developer for nine years now. Of those nine years, I spent a total of 8 months in an office and one month working in a co-working space part time. The truth is that I’m way happier working from home as I feel it just fits my personality better.
The question about my social life really got me thinking about the day-to-day of a remote worker and how some people could find the solitary lifestyle torturous. You know the people I’m talking about, extroverts. Those up-beat personalities that are absolutely energized by being around other people.
How could extroverts truly be successful working a remote job if the very nature of their personality relies on interaction with other humans? The reality is that I work with plenty of extroverts who are also working remotely. From what I can tell, they seem to be thriving. So how do they do it?
Co-working spaces are a great way for remote workers to get out of the house and meet new people. It provides you with an outlet to socialize and can help break up the monotony of working from home. They are often cheap, clean, and provide their inhabitants with all the amenities needed to conduct your day-to-day business.
In traditional office jobs, we usually end up surrounded by other people with somewhat related interests, which makes it easy to meet friends. Although you can always jump on a google hangout with a remote co-worker, it doesn’t fully satisfy that urge to connect with your peers.
Local meetups are a great way to make up for this lack of connection and guarantees that you’ll be meeting people with similar interests. As an added bonus they also provide a way for you to network with other professionals and nurture your career.
Maybe it’s a little cliche but spending some time at a local Starbucks is another great way to break free from the prison that becomes your home office. I’ve spoken to people who simply enjoy the energy of a busy office and coffee shops can definitely provide a similar environment. Don’t forget the easy access to delicious hot beverages.
Working remotely means communication often become more optional because we lack face time with co-workers. When you see someone in your office, it’s polite to say hello and often have a conversation. It’s how we bond and socialize with each other.
To port this over to remote jobs it’s important to make an effort to communicate with your co-workers often. Need to discuss something work related? Hop on a call instead of just typing in slack. Joke, post memes, have fun, and bond with your co-workers. It makes a huge difference and allows you to bond with the people you work with every day.
The Struggle Is Real
The reality is, extroverts are going to have a harder time staying sane in a remote job. Just like introverts have a harder time maintaining their sanity in a busy work environment. Does this mean they can’t be successful? Absolutely not. Often the benefits of working remotely out weigh the negative aspects.
So if you’re worried that remote working might not be for you, it might be worth giving a try.
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