For many employees, remote work has become the new norm. And this might seem like a dream: zero commute time, a more flexible working environment, less distractions — the list goes on. These perks are just a few of the reasons why workers have always wanted the option to work remotely, and why the current workforce is loving this new freedom.
But nothing is ever perfect. While working from home poses a number of benefits, there are also some challenges that come with it — namely, a lack of in-person interactions. This can take a toll on employees who thrive on being more social, while also hindering some projects that may demand higher levels of collaboration as well. Sometimes this is just easier to do in an office setting.
In addition to these challenges, there’s one other negative that working from home presents: missed networking opportunities. But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you work from home, you can network too! Here are some tips.
Join LinkedIn groups
Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile, but its use extends far beyond what many realize the platform is capable of. LinkedIn offers a number of groups that are relevant to various industries and interests. Are you a freelance writer? There are local and national writing groups where you can build a community of followers. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? There are a ton of business-centric groups where other entrepreneurs share their own trials and tribulations. Or maybe you’re a philanthropist looking for a community to connect with that shares your mission. Request to join these groups and make it a habit of posting and engaging with other people’s posts and soon enough you’ll find yourself building relationships with other professionals.
Meet Up With Colleagues
It’s nice to stay connected with colleagues during the day through channels like Skype, Slack, and Zoom, but it’s another thing to be able to connect with them face-to-face. If there are other employees near you, try to schedule out some time every now and then to meet for a coffee or dinner. Or if you know another team member who is out of state and will be in your area for a meeting, reach out to them to schedule a time to meet up as well. Even these short visits can make a world of difference.
Try Out a Coworking Space
Going into an office-like environment might sound like it defeats the purpose of working from home, but occasionally utilizing a coworking space could be a great move for those looking for more networking opportunities. A majority of cities have these spaces to rent, which can include things like desks, coffee-makers, printers, computers, etc. There will be other freelancers and remote employees working in close proximity to you, so don’t hesitate to reach out and meet some new people.
Just because you’re not working in an office doesn’t mean you have to miss out on great networking opportunities. With these tips, you’ll be able to work from home and make those connections.