In-person InteractionBy Lubna Sadik

Last week Corina Manea wrote about the benefits of working from home and I couldn’t agree more.

For many years, in the corporate office environment, the odd day or two I got to work from home was not only a privilege, but also an anomaly.

Contracting for the past few years has now awarded me the luxury of working from home.

Like Corina mentioned, wasting away hours just to get to and from the workplace was definitely the most exhausting part of the day.

There is almost nothing I hate more than having to drive. If it’s within my power I will do anything to avoid it.

So, not having to drive to get to work is a super bonus for me.

Video Chat isn’t Quite the Same

And yes, I love the flexibility of working from home as well as the extra time it affords me with my two little ones.

However, I miss hanging out with people in real life.

Interaction and conversation with different kinds of people fuels my mind and soul.

I am in a better mood because of it.

I am also more productive as a result of it.

Even though I get to “meet” regularly with my clients and team members on Google Hangout or Skype, it’s just not the same.

I really do miss the in-person interaction.

If you are like me and crave some time with people in real life, here are some of the things I have been trying to do.

Get In-Person Interaction When You Work from Home

Exercise Outside the Home

Make sure to go to a gym or a studio to get your exercise. Sign up for a regular class or bootcamp to help keep the commitment to actually go to the gym.

I love TRX training.

The great part about TRX training is that it leverages your gravity and body weight for strength training, which works well for me since it’s about all I can manage.

Unlike our very own Laura Petrolino, who has the PetroPower to lift like a gazillion pounds.

The upside AND downside is the TRX performance straps are extremely portable so you can easily harness them to most doors in your home.

This is convenient when you want to work-out in your own home, but also makes it very tempting not to leave the house to exercise especially with multiple deadlines and limited time in the day.

I sign up for a TRX boot camp or time with my personal trainer to make sure I get out of the home to exercise at lunchtime most days of the week.

Go to a Class or Workshop

These days there are many options to take courses online including Coursera and Lynda .

They provide fabulous content and offer learning at your convenience.

However, instead of only taking a class or a webinar online, see if you can also attend a workshop or a course in your city.

Or, check out what conferences are happening in the near future and sign up for one. I very much look forward to conferences. Attending one is an excellent way to meet industry leaders, listen to dynamic speakers, and stay current in your field.

Plus, it usually allows me to do one of my favorite things—travel!

Network Offline

Social media and online communities like this one are absolutely wonderful.

Like many, I’ve also had the opportunity to build long lasting relationships here on Spin Sucks.

However, to get some in-person interaction, step outside the house and attend professional networking events in your city or become a member of an industry association where you’ll meet like-minded individuals on a regular basis.

Join a Regular Activity You Enjoy

It’s easy to get busy with work and family, but think about what you like to do for fun.

If you love reading, try to find a book club where you can meet people every month or if you like to play a sport, join a league at your local community center.

Or, simply even go for drinks after work with a friend, colleague, or former colleague every now and then.

Committing myself to step out of the home to do some of the above mentioned activities helps me get the in-person interaction I miss with different kinds of people while still allowing me the luxury and flexibility of working from home.

If you work from home, do you miss meeting people in real life? If so, what are some of your suggestions to get in-person interaction?

image credit: Rawpixel

Lubna Sadik

Lubna Sadik is founder and principal consultant at Socially Engaged Consulting Inc. She has worked in finance and marketing for more than 16 years at some of the largest multinational and Canadian corporations specializing in marketing strategy, strategic planning, competitive and financial analysis, and business communication.

View all posts by Lubna Sadik