6 Ways to Make Friends When You Work from Home

Are you wrist deep in a tub of ice cream, blasting “Owner of a Lonely Heart” while you cry over your keyboard? Don’t fall into the telecommute trap of sacrificing friendship in the name of professional success. It’s time for a work-from-home intervention so you can exchange your solitude for socialization! Free yourself from your hermithood with these six suggestions on how to make friends when you work from home.

Co-Working Centers. Working from home doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. If you crave the company of like-minded individuals, or you want a change in atmosphere, find a co-working center in your area using a co-working Registry or you can use Virtual Vocations State Resources Directory. If you live in a location without commutable access to a co-working center, start your own Meetup and bring together other telecommuters in your area.

Get Involved. Whether you devote your time to a charity, church, or a community organization, making a difference can be a great way to make friends. Coming together for the common good will raise your spirits and increase your chance of making new friends. Consider volunteering for a renowned national organization like Habitat for Humanity , Big Brothers Big Sisters, or Make A Wish Foundation. If those organizations don’t appeal to you, consider volunteering for a local group near your home.

Expand Your Interests. When you work and live in the same space, you need to seek outside interests to help keep you motivated, and quite frankly, sane. Join a hobby club or take that class you have put aside time and again. Whether you want to kick it in karate or cook it up in the kitchen, expanding your interests is a surefire way to foster your best self and meet new people. And hey, if you are signed up for the same class or club as others, you know that you’ll have at least one thing in common with your new friend, right?

Get Active. Remote workers spend most of their time working from a seated position in close proximity to a pantry and/or refrigerator, so staying healthy while working from home is essential. You can do double duty by getting active and making connections if you join a gym or sign-up for a community or intramural sports team. Getting fit with a friend will give you time to vent about that deadline you missed and provide you with a motivational boost to maintain your fitness regimen. Win-win!

Kid Around. Are you a telecommute mom or dad? Participating in activities with your kids is a great way to meet other work from home or stay at home parents. Regularly attend your children’s sporting events and hobby classes to chat up other parents while your kids enjoy their lessons. You should also check your local newspaper or community center for local parent-child activities like reading groups, Mommy (or Daddy) & Me sessions, and field days at your local park.

Socialize Through Social Media. Surprise! Social media sites can be used for more than re-posting chain statuses and playing addicting games. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and MySpace can be used as useful networking tools for making personal and professional connections. Try these suggestions for social media socialization:

-Reconnect with high school or college pals
-Join common interest groups or message boards
-Connect with video chat for in-home interaction
-Get together for a real world gathering like a Tweetup

Has it been difficult for you to make friends while you work from home or are you a social butterfly? Leave a comment to share your thoughts, reactions, experiences and additional tips for making connections!

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