Remote work can be isolating. With few people to talk to and even fewer opportunities to participate in company events, it can feel like you have no one to reach out to for advice, mentorship, or just to exchange ideas.
That’s when it’s time to tap into the resources your network can offer.
Get the Conversation Started
Some of the best ideas happen when co-workers share their different viewpoints. Unfortunately, remote workers often miss out on these “watercooler moments.” And according to Entrepreneur, a lack of conversation can kill innovation.
You can get the conversation—‚and your creative juices—flowing by hosting virtual brainstorming sessions for your network. Make a schedule. Take turns deciding on a topic. Everyone who participates benefits by having the opportunity to talk about their work with others.
Find Strength in Numbers
The number one fear in America is a fear of personal failure, especially when it relates to work. You can mitigate this fear by using your network as a sounding board before making career-impacting decisions.
If you’re trying to build a business, your network can be an invaluable source of expertise and lessons learned. If you’re a freelancer, you can ask the people in your network for advice on a current project. Better yet, you can consult with someone you trust and respect before even bidding on that project in the first place.
Use Online Social Networks
433 million professionals have some presence on LinkedIn. It is the most business-oriented social platform, making it an excellent way to connect with your network online. You can share articles, ask for feedback and be active in relevant groups.
Don’t forget about the professional Facebook groups of which you’re a part. The few that I’m involved in are frequently active, sharing business insights and questions almost daily.
Finally, head to Twitter for weekly business chats. Ask people within your network if there are chats that they like to participate in and build a list of opportunities to check out. You can research these yourself as well. Here’s a list of 10 Twitter Chats for Entrepreneurs that range from work-life balance to marketing.
Join Your Network in a Coworking Space
Coworking can provide all the perks of being onsite with your company without many of the annoying downfalls. Most coworking spaces have conference rooms, printers, a full kitchen, and many times, other amenities like a game room or lounge. You can enjoy the social benefits of a shared workspace without the inconvenience of sitting through endless meetings and presentations.
Share Social Activities with Your Network
Social gatherings allow you to learn more about the people in your network—what they do, what they value, and what interests you share. If you don’t have the benefit of working for a company that plans social outings for its employees, design them yourself. Meet at the local coffee shop or plan a group hike; others in your network will appreciate the effort too.
If you work remotely, use your network: you’ll feel more connected, less alone, and better supported.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet @Workfrom using #untethered.