Working remotely shouldn’t mean isolation from the world and the people around you (although given the last year, it definitely feels that way).
But it’s not uncommon to feel lonely when you’re working from home. You miss having coworkers nearby, you’re too busy getting lost in your laptop, and life is passing you by. I get it!
The good news is parts of the world are slowly opening back up, but there are still fewer opportunities than before for real interaction. Many in-person events continue to be canceled or postponed.
On top of that, there still aren’t as many options to leave the house. Most cafe working spots are only serving lattes via drive-thru, and coworking spaces are closed for the foreseeable future.
Working in the confinement of your home has become played out and (let’s face it) boring.
There are many negative effects of loneliness beyond the obvious. Feeling lonely can cause you to have a hard time focusing on tasks or reaching goals. You may have difficulty figuring out what to do next in your online career journey or even feel like quitting.
Virtual Assistants need creative ways to connect with others. So, here are 3 ways you can avoid loneliness while working from home.
1. Join Work From Home Online Communities
Despite companies sending their employees to work from home and remote work growing in popularity in general, people still think working from home is a scam.
You might even have friends or family that hardly know anything about working online, let alone being a virtual assistant. Or, maybe they know but aren’t very supportive.
Online communities forge a sense of togetherness amongst commonalities. There are communities for almost everything from millennials who love baking, pet parents, and (yes, you guessed it) online workers!
Groups offer a comforting place to speak about things you face daily as a remote worker. There, you will find others just like you.
That’s why I created my free Facebook group to help online workers connect and find daily remote job postings and resources.
Another great place to find online communities is Instagram. Engage in the DMs, comments, stories and you’ll be surprised at the types of friendships that can form via social media.
I also created the VAI Members Club for my students in the 90 DAY VA program. It’s the place where students can bounce ideas off each other, get answers to client questions, and even find exclusive job postings only posted within the private Facebook group.
Even better, the VAI Members Club offers monthly Q&A calls.
During these calls, members connect with my team and me to talk about recent updates in the virtual assistant world, hash out any roadblocks they may have, and share recent wins.
2. Find Virtual Assistants & Remote Workers in Your Area
“But we’re in the middle of a pandemic!”
Yes, I know. It is crucial to adhere to local guidelines put forth by your government. So, this is only a suggestion and will depend on the situation in your location.
Make sure to check-in with your local laws and regulations before attending any socially distanced gatherings.
However, many local communities for online workers have shifted their meetings to virtual get-togethers instead of in-person events. So, you can safely seek out connections and network from the comfort of your own home.
A lot of people are struggling with loneliness right now – it’s not just you! That means you’ll have more options than ever for remote networking.
There are so many ways to connect with others creatively. Local groups (and non-local) are offering virtual:
- Happy hours
- Book clubs
- Meditation classes
- Watch parties
- Yoga sessions
You name it.
The bright side of finding local groups is that you will have made many friends that live in the same area as you.
Imagine how awesome it will be to have other remote workers to work with in your local cafe or even grab a quick lunch break once this is all over! I’m down!
The possibilities are endless.
You could even start an online club or community in your area if you see the need!
If you’re working from home as a virtual assistant, then imagine how many other women are thinking of doing the same or already are!
You’ll make connections with others working online, facing the same challenges and triumphs that you do, and are happy to share in your experiences.
Those connections are worth the effort!
3. Attend Online Events and Retreats for Virtual Assistants
Retreats and events have been famous for gathering communities together in one place to experience magical moments.
Before COVID-19, there were TONS of opportunities to sign up for in-person retreats. Remote workers know a thing or two about needing a community of like-minded people, so retreats and events were popping up everywhere.
Retreats also provide the opportunity to learn new skills, grow your network, and connect with others like you.
Fun fact – I’ve wanted to host my next team for what feels like FOREVER now, but thanks to COVID, it’s on hold. It’s safe to say that my team and I are definitely counting down the days, though, just sayin’!
Retreats tend to be more of an in-person experience. They are best suited for fully immersing yourself in an environment with others who may be strangers or friends from a group you’ve joined. The purpose is experiential learning and transformation.
A key attribute of retreats is that it is communal, which can mean:
- Mealtime and activities are done together.
- Sleeping arrangements are in shared spaces (rented lodge, camping grounds, Airbnbs, etc.)
- Scheduled workshops for attendees
But not all retreats are created equal. Some may have tweaked how they hold their gatherings.
The idea of a retreat is to hold a space for everyone to feel comfortable and really transform their business and themselves.
Due to COVID, many events have opted to go virtual. But you can still sign up for in-person events planned for next year. *fingers crossed*
How empowering is it to be surrounded by other entrepreneurial women!?
While in-person retreats may not be available until the end of the year or even in 2022, now is a good time to look at what retreats may interest you.
You could even start saving a little money each month to pay for a future event!
Bonding in a communal setting and networking are good ways to avoid loneliness, as the connections you make will stay with you for a lifetime. If you can’t attend in-person events, then make the most of the online options available right now.
Don’t Worry! You Don’t Have to Hit the Ground Running
Making connections with others who are working from home as a virtual assistant can come in smaller steps.
I’m not telling you that you need to start a local community in your town right now. In fact, if it’s not your cup of tea – that works too!
The key is to be patient and trust the process. Finding your tribe doesn’t happen overnight, but you DO have to put yourself out there (even if that means virtually).
My team and I know how important it is to have a community that can support you, your online career (or side hustle), and overall mental health, which is why we provide extra support, motivation, and accountability in the Members Club.
If you’re still unsure that virtual assisting is right for you, check out my FREE masterclass. I cover everything you need to know to help you decide if you want to jumpstart your VA journey.
I hope to see you inside!
In 90 Day VA, Esther teaches her students how to research and repurpose current content into blogs for the VAI website. Khadija is the student we’ve chosen this week to feature what she’s learned in the course. Get to know her:
Khadija Collins offers virtual solutions to individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. When she’s not helping people produce results for their company, she loves to travel and hang out with her pup!
She assists with everything from social media management, marketing, lite website design and management, and more.
To see all the services she offers and how she can help you, check out her website here.