ICBA Blog

Battling Loneliness as a Freelancer

Productively interact with others throughout your workday to combat the work-from-home isolation

Being an independent contractor has many benefits, but one of the downsides, for some industries, is the loneliness. While we’re often grateful to skip the office politics, freelancers do miss out on the camaraderie at the water cooler. When working from a home office, we sometimes feel secluded from the rest of society. Even those who have people-oriented jobs and are on the go, like rideshare drivers or home healthcare givers, can experience a bit of frustration with the lack of connection to others in their field. Overcoming loneliness before it impacts your mental health is important. That’s why we put together these ideas to commune with others.

Find a Networking Group in Your Field
Some networking groups meet up before or after the traditional workday, while others are purely virtual. Facebook has a variety of groups dedicated to remote workers, and many are field specific. Rideshare drivers will find these social media groups filled with fellow drivers from their specific city, where they can share tips, vent daily frustrations, and more.

Get on a Team Communication Platform
Apps like Slack allow you to communicate quickly and efficiently with large or small groups of people. Many companies use Slack to foster inter-office communication, share project info, or bolster camaraderie—without the use of email messaging or texting. Independent contractors can use it too. Slack has communities dedicated to the freelance life and communities made up of freelancers in specific fields. Join to engage with others, learn from their wisdom, and even have a little fun. Bonus: you may also find that Slack works great for communicating with clients.

Work from A Coffee Shop
Your neighborhood coffeehouse can become a makeshift office any time you get a case of the work-from-home blues. Find a perch and perk up with a cup of joe for a few hours. The background noise and the presence of others will help you feel less solo.

Join a Coworking Space
Coworking spaces offer a reprieve when working-from-home feels stale. You can find a membership level that suits your needs. They’re usually based on how often you want to visit per month. Spaces are designed with the independent contractor in mind and have plenty of outlets for charging your devices, plus different seating configurations to make you comfortable. They’re also usually quieter than coffee shops because everyone at a coworking space is there to work. In addition to the simple solidarity that comes from working in the presence of like-minded individuals, many coworking spaces also host networking opportunities or business development classes.

Meet up with Clients
Thanks to modern technology, we live in a world where a lot of work can be done remotely. That gives us a great amount of freedom, but sometimes we lack face-to-face time with our clients. Don’t be afraid to meet one-on-one. You might find that it boosts your project productivity and makes your clients happier than they already are with your work.

Host Fellow Freelancers
If you know other independent contractors who are battling loneliness, you can host them at your home every so often for a work session. If you get a regular group going, you can rotate locations, so the hosting duties aren’t all on you.

Get a pet
A furry pal can also make the workday less lonely and a lot cuter too!