Survive Working at Home As an Extrovert
Working from home can be tough, especially if you are used to interacting with people on a daily basis. If you’re an extrovert, meaning you get your energy from interacting with others, it can be especially difficult. Although it may take some time to get used to, you can set up your schedule to plan for human interaction and make sure that you are meeting your social needs every day.
Sticking to a Routine
- Get up at a specific time every day so you’re awake when others are. If you don’t have set work hours, it can be easy to sleep in until whenever you want. However, it can be tough to transition from sleeping in to getting work done, and you may not be awake when your coworkers or friends are. Try setting an alarm to wake up at a reasonable time every day.
- It can also be easy to stay up super late on a work night since you don’t have to leave your house in the morning. Try to get about 8 hours of sleep every night to keep yourself healthy.
- Take a shower and get dressed to make yourself socially presentable. Getting ready for the day sets you up for success, and it also allows you to video chat with your boss or coworkers if you need to. Shower, brush your teeth, put on clean clothes, and make yourself look presentable before you sit down for work.Template:Greenbox: '''Tip:''' Try to wear clothes that make you feel put-together instead of pajamas. It doesn’t have to be a full suit, but a nice shirt and slacks is much better than sweatpants and a crewneck.
- Getting dressed in nice clothes may also help you feel more able to chat with your neighbors if you see them around.
- Give yourself time to get out of the house. Try taking a short walk around your neighborhood or sitting in your backyard for 15 minutes every day. Allow yourself to disconnect from your work life for even a short time during the day to reduce stress. You can even set up times to take walks around the block with your neighbors for some social interaction.
Interacting with Your Coworkers
- Talk to your coworkers via video chat or on the phone. If you work in a team setting, you can maintain communication with your coworkers by video chatting on your computer or setting up a conference call. This face-to-face interaction can be more helpful than sending emails or instant messages since you can see your coworkers faces and hear their voices.Template:Greenbox: '''Tip:''' Zoom and Skype are great for setting up large video chat calls between multiple people.
- Join a group of working professionals in your field. If you work in a fairly popular field, you may be able to find other professionals in the same position as yourself. Try searching for your profession and your city to see if there are other people in your field that may want to work at a coffee shop or cafe a few times a month.
- This is also a great way to network with other professionals in your field.
- Volunteer to travel for your job. If you have a job that allows travel, ask your manager if you can be the one to go to the next conference or sales meeting. Doing this will allow you to get some face-to-face interaction with your coworkers and may even show your boss how dedicated you are to your job.
- If you can’t travel for work because you have children or other obligations, that’s okay too! It doesn’t work with everyone’s schedules.
- You may also want to avoid travel if you are not fully vaccinated yet for COVID-19 or are immunocompromised.
Maintaining Social Interaction
- Work outside your home if you can. Try going to a coffee shop, cafe, or library to be around other people at some point during the day. Although you probably won’t have full conversations with anyone, you can still make small talk with the baristas or say hello to your seat neighbor when you sit down.Template:Greenbox: '''Tip:''' If you work on a computer, make sure you go somewhere with access to WiFi.
- Sign up for a co-working space. Co-working spaces are common office areas where people who work from home can have an office space. Take a look around your neighborhood and see if you can sign up for one of these spaces to get you out of the house every day and give you some social interaction.
- Some co-working spaces require a monthly fee to save your spot.
- Go to groups or clubs that involve your hobbies. If you can’t interact with people during your work day, you can do it after work instead. Look around for local groups in your area to see if any of your hobbies or recreational activities line up with existing clubs or groups.
- Try checking out the Facebook page for your city or town to find like-minded people near you.
- Running groups, hiking groups, and adult sports teams are great ways to stay active outside of work.
- Join a fitness class for some social interaction. If your schedule is flexible, try looking around at local gyms for yoga, palates, or spin classes. Joining one of these classes can help you stay in shape while also meeting and talking to new people.
- These classes are usually at the same time every week, which can help you stick to a routine.
- Make plans with your friends in the evenings. Set aside some time to hang out with people outside of your home. Ask your friends to go to happy hour, out to eat, or a walk around the block so you can maintain some social contact during the day.
- Not everyone is available to hang out after work, and that’s okay. Try making plans with them on the weekends instead.
- Call your friends and family members on days you don’t have plans. If no one can hang out with you and you’re really craving some social interaction, try calling up a close friend or family member on the phone. You can chat about your day, what’s new in your life, or set up a time to see them sometime soon.
- You can even try video chatting with people to get some face-to-face interaction.
- Getting used to working from home can take some time, especially if you’re used to working around other people. Try to be patient with yourself.
- As of April 2020, many countries and US states are implementing various social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Be sure to avoid close social interaction with others until it is safe to do so.