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Proper Care and Feeding of the Extrovert

Survival tips for the sociable who work from home.

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<p style="font-size:15px"><strong><em>What are some hidden challenges of working from home? They're not ones you might think.

What are some hidden challenges of working from home? They're not ones you might think.

I work from home. All the time. I made this transition after being in a highly social sales role for a really long time. I thrived on face-to-face interaction. When my circumstances changed and something new was offered, I took the leap. I wouldn’t trade the freedom, zero commute and work/life balance for anything. But for extroverts like myself, the work-from-home deal holds some real challenges. They’re not the ones you might think.

“I love working from home. I get along with everyone in the office & always win Employee of the Month.”

Old lady on Hallmark Card.

Yes, I know where the stapler is. No, I haven’t watched Dr. Phil today.

When I tell people I work from home, they are almost always envious. “Wow, lucky!” “Must be nice!” And, overall it is. However, I would say the biggest misperceptions of a full-time remote career are that it’s hard to stay organized, self-disciplined and to get real work done (laundry doesn’t count, sadly). However, the biggest hurdles for me coming into a role that keeps me home five days a week are Boredom, Isolation, Loneliness and Monotony. I call this BILM and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Yes, I am alone literally as I write this because I work from home. Generally speaking, I believe there’s a tribe out there of extroverts like me in need of sanity tactics for us to continue to enjoy the amazing benefits of this work lifestyle while keeping our naturally sociable side fed and watered, too.

Everyday Things To Do

I don’t always follow my own advice. My hope is that in writing this it pushes me to do so. Here are a few everyday things to do in order to keep your overall wellbeing on the up and up.

  • Dress the part: the whole “I work in my pajamas” is overrated. Trust me.
  • Sprinkle social activities throughout your week: if you need in-person interaction to thrive, find it. Look for local Meetups within your industry, join a couple of networking groups or just set up coffee dates with friends.
  • Practice acceptance: if socialization is your personality need by nature, accept it and find ways to get that need met. Not everybody will get it, and that’s ok.
  • Remember the good: there are a lot of benefits to working from home. Remember the good and don’t allow the negative to take you down a rabbit hole.
  • Take care of yourself: if the isolation gets to you, set a timer and go for a walk outside on a schedule. Get some sunlight. Change the scenery.
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