When working as an independent contractor you’ll often find yourself having to work alone or with people you aren’t familiar with. In a traditional working environment, you usually have coffee breaks and chances to chat with colleagues. As a contractor, you work by yourself for yourself and in some instances it can feel lonely. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely working. If you are feeling lonely in your self-employed role, you could follow these tips to break that feeling.
Find a co-working environment
Working around other people is a great way of alleviating any feelings of loneliness. The UK is experiencing a boom in co-working spaces, with London currently the “global capital” of flexible workspaces. That busy feeling of an office replaces the silence of the home as you meet other people in the same position as yourself.
The added bonuses of a co-working space include the community feel, free WIFI, heating and meeting rooms. Some co-working spaces even house a pool table for those important breaks. With many of these offices popping up around the country, it shouldn’t be too hard to find an office space to rent near you.
Network with other people on social media
As a contractor, it is easy to forget that you’re not alone as it is likely to be competitive in your industry. There are others in the same industry as you who are going through the same struggles. Social media offers a fast and easy way to connect with anyone, wherever they are in the world. Having social contact with other self-employed contractors gives you the chance to chat with like-minded professionals, exchange stories on your experiences and build relationships. You could even co-work on projects!
Seeking out other contractors on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram can bring people together remotely and remove loneliness quickly.
Set up regular client meetings and calls
Instant communication allows for quick chats with your clients. However, an email or an instant message keeps you locked away alone in your own work bubble. Instead, you should look to have regular phone contact with your clients or schedule face-to-face meetings. An informal meeting for lunch at a coffee shop can allow you to gain vital project information and develop your personal relationships.
Attend networking events
The world is full of knowledge and people want to share it – hence why industry events, business shows and lectures are organised. These industry related events can give a contractor a chance to fill their work-related calendar. Attending these events also allows you to get out of the house and network. It is the perfect opportunity to meet others and build professional relationships – you never know who you might collaborate with in the future.
Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are a huge part of many people’s daily routines. Many will listen to them during their morning routine, daily commutes and completing of work tasks. You could listen to a podcast while you work at home, as a way of providing yourself with a comforting background noise. A TV can be rather distracting due to the visuals on screen whereas the voice(s) from a podcast can help you maintain productivity. Industry related podcasts can also help you develop as a contractor, as you take in new information to benefit your clients.
Take enough time away from work
Striking a perfect work-life balance is incredibly important for self-employed contractors. As your income is solely dependent on the work you complete, it is easy to just work and work. Take regular breaks from your work. Go for a walk, eat food that you love or make social contact with a friend. Just taking a few minutes to step outside will stop you feeling isolated. Taking regular breaks will also boost your overall productivity. You are not a robot and it is not good for your mental health to work non-stop.
A contractor must also know how to take time off. Being self-employed gives you the freedom of choosing your own holidays. So get on that plane and relax abroad. Even if you just take a few days off to do something you enjoy at home, it can make you feel better for the next working day.
Whether you feel lonely as a contractor or not, 3 Wise Bears will help you keep your finances managed. As an accounting service for contractors, you can trust us to support you and supply you with leading accounting software. Get in touch with us about our bespoke contractor packages.