If you are a remote worker who sometimes struggles with the seclusion associated with working from home, you’re not alone. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are common for people who work from home. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Remote work Meetup groups can help alleviate that isolation and help you make connections that you might not usually make on a day-to-day basis. Let’s take a look at what you might want out of a group like this — and how to find your own!
Meetup.com: Bridging the Gap for Remote Workers Through Community and Connection
Meetup.com is a platform designed to bring people together from all corners of the globe based on shared interests, hobbies, and professional pursuits. Their worldwide network, comprised of over 60 million members, makes it easy to find social groups that will have you networking and making friends like never before.
For those of us who work from home, Meetup provides an invaluable opportunity to counteract feelings of isolation, offering a chance to engage in all kinds of social activities and networking events. The platform serves as a bridge between the digital realm of remote work and the tangible world, allowing remote professionals to maintain and foster personal connections, learn new skills, and broaden their horizons.
Five Reasons to Join Remote Work Meetup Groups
1. Save your Sanity. Let’s face it, talking to yourself day after day can be wearisome. If you’re feeling like you talk to your dog more than you talk to humans most days, a Meetup may be the answer.
2. Need to Network. If you’re ready to network with other professionals, but working remotely has taken you out of the loop, joining a Meetup will bring you face-to-face with local movers and shakers.
3. New to Remote Work. A Meetup is an ideal place for anyone new to working remotely. You’ll meet veteran telecommuters who can give you helpful work-from-home tips. Plus, you may even meet newbies who share your concerns.
4. Recently Relocated. Perhaps you’ve been working remotely long before it was hip, but you’ve just moved to a new city and working remotely isn’t giving you the chance to mix and mingle like you want. A Meetup group is a great way to make professional connections and find new friends.
5. Considering Coworking. Some of the best Meetup groups for remote workers are centered on the concept of coworking. Coworking models vary, from gathering at a coffee house to knock out a few emails to renting a professional space, there’s a coworking center for you.
The Different Types of Remote Work Meetup Groups Available to You
The world of remote work Meetup groups is vast and varied, catering to a diverse array of needs and interests. From general work-from-home communities open to all, groups tailored to life stages or shared experiences, or profession-specific gatherings.
1. General WFH Groups
These groups are a goldmine for anyone working from home, regardless of profession. Open to all remote workers, they offer a broad spectrum of experiences, challenges, and solutions.
2. Profession-Specific Groups
Tailored to your particular field or industry, these groups can be a game-changer. Whether you’re in tech, writing, design, or any other field, there’s likely a Meetup for you.
3. Remote Work Groups with Shared Life Experiences
These are for remote workers who might have more in common than just their work style. These groups could be based on stages of life or other shared experiences. For instance:
- For Parents: Meetup groups specifically for work-from-home moms or dads can offer advice on juggling parenting with professional duties.
- For Singles: Connect with other single professionals who are navigating the remote work landscape.
- Special Interest Groups: Whether you’re a remote-working fitness enthusiast, book lover, or avid traveler, there’s likely a group out there that blends work with your passion.
Remember, the essence of Meetup is connection. The more you explore, the greater chance you’ll find a group or groups that resonate with your personal and professional journey.
What Do You Personally Want from a Remote Work Group?
Before diving headfirst into joining a remote work Meetup group, it’s important to reflect upon what you want to gain from the group. Here’s a roadmap to help you align your desires with the right Meetup:
- Professional Growth: Are you looking for opportunities to expand your skill set, stay updated on industry trends, or potentially find job opportunities? Some groups focus on professional development, hosting guest speakers, workshops, and training sessions.
- Networking: If widening your professional circle is a priority, seek groups that emphasize networking. These gatherings often have structured activities designed to get attendees talking and exchanging contact information.
- Social Interaction: If camaraderie and friendship top your list, look for more casual groups that prioritize social events – think coffee catch-ups, movie nights, or leisurely weekend brunches.
- Coworking Colleagues: Even the most happy remote workers get lonely sometimes. Perhaps you’re just looking for some out-of-the-house coworkers that will simply gather and work side-by-side without the stress and politics of an office.
- Flexibility: Maybe you can’t commit to regular physical meetups but would love virtual interactions. Some groups cater specifically to digital meet-and-greets, which can be perfect if you’re juggling a busy schedule or live far from urban hubs.
- Shared Challenges: If you’re a parent, you may have unique challenges balancing work and childcare. Or, as a digital nomad, you might be seeking advice on the best tools for on-the-go work. Find niche groups that resonate with your specific remote work challenges.
At the end of the day, your Meetup experience should be enriching. Take the time to introspect and research, ensuring that the group or groups you join align with your aspirations and current life stage.
How to Find Your Ideal Remote Work Group
Finding the right remote work group on Meetup might seem daunting given the vast number of options. But with a targeted approach, you can streamline the process and pinpoint groups that align with your goals. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way:
1. Keyword Searches: Start with the platform’s search functionality. Use keywords that mirror your interests, such as “remote work,” “digital nomad,” “WFH parents,” or your specific profession, e.g., “remote software developers.”
2. Filter and Sort: Meetup.com offers filters that allow you to sort by categories like tech, health, family, learning, and more. Additionally, you can sort by group size, activity level, and date founded, giving you a good sense of how active and established a group is.
3. Read Descriptions and Reviews: Once you’ve shortlisted a few groups, dive into their descriptions. This will give you insights into the group’s culture, activities, and objectives. Don’t forget to read member reviews to gauge past attendees’ experiences.
4. Attend a Trial Meetup: Before fully committing, consider attending an initial event. This will give you a firsthand experience of the group dynamics, the types of activities they host, and the general vibe.
5. Explore Related Groups: Once you join a group, Meetup often suggests related groups. This can be a great way to discover new communities that didn’t initially appear in your search.
6. Engage in Discussions: Many groups have discussion boards or forums. Engage there to get a feel for the community, ask questions, or seek recommendations for other groups.
7. Ask Your Network: Your own professional or personal network might already be part of valuable Meetup groups. Tap into this resource and ask for recommendations.
8. Start Your Own Group: Depending on the area you live in or what you’re looking for in a group, you might not find what you’re looking for. In that case, think about starting your own group! You might be surprised by how many other people are looking for the same thing you are, but just don’t have the desire to start it themselves.
Armed with these steps and a clear vision of what you want, you’ll be well-equipped to find a Meetup group that not only aligns with your professional goals but also offers a sense of community and belonging.
Branching Out Beyond Meetup: Alternative Avenues to Explore
While Meetup.com is a popular choice for many remote workers, it’s by no means the only platform for community and professional growth. If Meetup isn’t resonating with you or if active groups are scarce in your locale, there’s no need to fret. Several other platforms and spaces beckon with opportunities to connect, collaborate, and grow:
- Flow Club: A platform for peer-led productivity sessions, Flow Club is perfect for those looking to work in focused bursts alongside others, even virtually.
- Wifitribe.co: Tailored for digital nomads, this platform organizes co-living and coworking retreats in various parts of the world. It’s an ideal fit for those seeking adventure and networking combined.
- Noma Collective: This group specializes in organizing remote work retreats. If you’re keen on immersing yourself in a new environment with like-minded professionals, this could be your go-to.
- Coworking Centers: Local coworking spaces aren’t just desks and Wi-Fi. They’re vibrant hubs of networking and collaboration. Check out spots in your city or while traveling to work alongside fellow remote enthusiasts.
- Facebook Groups: Several remote work and digital nomad groups thrive on Facebook. A simple search can lead you to communities where job opportunities, tips, and discussions are in abundance.
- LinkedIn Groups: As a professional network, LinkedIn has numerous groups tailored for various professions, including those working remotely. Engage, discuss, and even find job opportunities here.
- Public Slack Channels: Beyond team communications, Slack hosts myriad public channels where professionals discuss trends, challenges, and more. It’s a less formal and often very engaging way to connect.
The digital age, with all its tools and platforms, ensures that remote workers are never truly isolated. Whether it’s through Meetup or any of these alternatives, the world is teeming with opportunities to engage, grow, and belong.
Embracing Community in the Digital Age
In an era where the boundaries of office spaces have extended into our homes and the line between professional and personal often blurs, finding a sense of community becomes paramount. Meetup.com offers a unique platform for remote workers to find that balance, to connect, learn, and grow. Whether it’s professional networking, honing skills, or simply seeking social interaction, there’s a Meetup group out there for you. As you embark on this journey, remember that it’s as much about giving as it is about receiving. Share your experiences, offer support, and actively engage. After all, the heart of any community lies in the connections we foster and the relationships we cultivate. Dive in and discover a world where remote work doesn’t mean working alone.
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