How to Work From Home: 10 Real-world Tips

Get Social
Break the all-day isolation by scheduling a lunch (or dessert) date with a friend. iStock/Thinkstock

Working from home poses different challenges to different personality types. As a card-carrying introvert, I could go months without communicating with coworkers beyond e-mail and IM. But if you are a social butterfly, you might find that you miss the face-to-face feedback and water cooler conversation of office life. To avoid feeling isolated and stifled, you need to devise strategies to get your social fix away from the office.

The technological reality is that you can continue to communicate with the standard office tools — e-mail, IM, phone and videoconferencing — from home. But if you really miss the personal interaction, try to schedule a lunch or two a week with a work colleague or another work-from-home friend.

There are also organizations in most major cities that offer shared office space for rent. It's called co-working and you buy a membership on a monthly or weekly basis. Co-working "spaces" (they're always called "spaces") market themselves as collaborative cafes for independent workers who don't like the isolation of working from home. At the very least, co-working is a good option if you need access to fax machines, copiers and other equipment you may not have at home. Even a coffee machine.