Having a job is a funny thing: you wake up every morning, brush your teeth, have your coffee, and then, with barely a pause, you’re supposed to invest nine hours of your day – more than a third of it – in things that make money. Every single day. At least five days a week. And people working from home don’t really limit themselves to a 5-day working week. At best, if they’re really determined, there’s just one day in the week when they don’t work at all. So every day we open our laptops. Read emails. Follow up on them. Send emails. Tell other people what to do. Answer the phone. Try to be concise. Try to be nice. Try to be professional. Routine, it ain’t easy.
For people working from home, that routine can get even harder. First, they work at the same place where they live. I already wrote about making an easier transition from home to work when working from home, but it still isn’t easy. Second, they work by themselves. Sure, there are conference calls, but there are no actual people around to share hardships or small victories with. Third, they do it with no outside supervision, so only they know what they’ve got done, and what they haven’t.
Fortunately, there’s a whole world out there. If you dare to put on some clothes, open the door and walk down that flight of stairs, then oh, the places you’ll go!
Here are the main reasons why getting out of the house is worth your while:
You’ll become more effective
We all know that it’s possible to set boundaries between home and work without ever leaving the house, but the task becomes easier when we actually do leave it. You can rent a workstation in the closest co-working space, or designate a day or two in the week where you work from a café. The important thing here is the setting of boundaries. Boundaries between work and anything that isn’t work make our work easier. Besides, when working away from home in a bad day (and we all have those), the act of shutting your laptop and getting up in frustration becomes that much more dramatic.
Improving your self-esteem
Even when working from home, we’re never really alone. We have conference calls, private calls and emails. We’re communicating with the world. Yet, everyone who’s ever worked from home knows that after a few days of not seeing other people, you start thinking: how do I actually look? Am I fat today? Does this shirt look good on me? And how do I feel? Are these voices in my head for real?
Conversations with other people, even if they last seconds, can make you sane again. Meeting with friends for a break is also a good option. Long term relationships have been proven to contribute to mental health. According to research conducted at Iowa University and published on Live Science, “People with strong social relationships increased their odds of survival over a certain time period by 50 percent. That’s on par with ceasing smoking, and nearly twice as “beneficial as physical activity in terms of decreasing your odds of dying early”.
There’s really no need to explain the importance of networking to a working person. The more professional contacts you have, the easier it gets to get new projects, consult about current projects, or move projects you really don’t want to be doing. Moreover, the secret to efficient networking is… more networking. According to Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and Chairman of business networking organization BNI, “There is a direct correlation between the time you devote to the process and the success you realize from it.” You can always network from home, it’s true, but face-to-face interactions are often more effective, and eliminate the chance for future misunderstandings.