If you are an introvert, struggle to meet new people, and are lonely at home, then it’s very likely that the same will happen when you are working remotely abroad.
There is a misconception that traveling makes you more sociable, but that will only happen if you create conversations and be approachable, which is the same, no matter if you’re at home or abroad.
If you’ve decided that you will likely struggle to meet new people, you must take yourself out of your comfort zone and make more effort.
Here are my thoughts on how to deal with remote work loneliness.
Attend Local Networking Events
One of the easiest ways to meet new people with similar interests is to attend local networking and social events – An excellent website for achieving this is Meetup, where you create a profile, include your current location, and browse through events near you.
While in Prague, I attended a few events, which resulted in meeting new people- remote workers who travel and local people.
Attending the events will help you discover more about the city and can be great for finding collaborators and work buddies, which I discuss further in the article. Make sure you try and attend at least one event a week.
Work Away from Home
After a couple of days, working inside your home can result in you experiencing ‘cabin fever,’ so designate at least two days during the week when you go and work in a local café or co-location workspace.
While the beach and swimming pools are the worst places to work, you can get creative and find cool spots, which allow you to be productive. Find a nice rooftop bar in a hotel, o, a café in a local art gallery or museum, where you can break up your work.
It’s essential that the place is not too distracting but has enough noise to keep you not feeling disconnected and productive.
If you have no choice but to work from home, use an app like Noisli, which helps you focus on different sounds to create your perfect environment. Open up the windows to let fresh air in, or work out on the balcony or in the garden.
Use Technology to Keep in Touch
You might be thousands of miles away from family and friends, but technology nowadays allows us to quickly and affordably keep in touch. Set a specific day of the week to Skype or Google Hangout with family members or friends.
Download Whatsapp or your favorite messenger app, keep in touch on your mobile phone, and reduce the cost of phone calls and text messages.
For work, create a Slack channel to keep in touch with work colleagues, collaborators, and clients you work with. From Slack, you can have text conversations or video and audio calls. There are also lots of open channels for specific interest groups.
Engage on Social Media
Social media can be a great place to find out what family and friends are up to and to meet people with the same interests as you.
One advantage of creating videos on YouTube was building a community where I could communicate through comments and on social media.
You might want to do something similar or create a Twitter account to follow people and engage with them. Social media is also suitable for finding potential clients and learning new skills. Facebook Groups are great for joining discussions on various topics you might be interested in.
Find a Work Buddy
Just like a gym buddy, having a work buddy keeps you motivated and productive and helps keep you accountable to work goals. The best place to meet potential work buddies is co-working spaces and networking events.
Your work buddy mustn’t be there just to chat, but they’re keen to work and be productive – ideally, they need to have alternative skills than yourself so you can help each other and share skills.
Make An Effort to Talk to People
It’s time to challenge yourself and leap out of your comfort zone. Every day, try to strike up a conversation with one new person.
It’s more of a challenge where English isn’t the primary language, but this should not put you off, as it will help you learn the language.
Chat with someone on the train or at the opposite table from you in a restaurant. Ask questions, show them that you’re interested in what they are discussing – be approachable, polite, and smile. Hopefully, you will find this helpful.