Feeling alone at work?  If you are, you’re not alone!  Nearly 21 million people work out of their home offices these days according to US Census stats.  Many home office workers experience what I call “professional loneliness.”  It’s the downside to the flexibility and no commute of home office work. working-solo

Professional loneliness can occur when you are physically isolated from colleagues.  There is no opportunity to turn to someone and say or show anything!  When I started this consulting firm in 1998 this was a BIG problem.  When people asked me about the downside to non-typical corporate work (at least it was non-typical back then) I said there are two main drawbacks:  Zero on-site IT support and professional loneliness.  Today, both of these drawbacks have easy solutions to eliminate or reduce their effects.  Social network sites and technology allow us to reach out and touch someone virtually whenever we want – even for IT support!

I wish I had started writing about this years ago – it is a HOT topic without a name.  When I see statistics of the amount of time people spend on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Ning and so on, I am reminded of the very strong need of humans to interact.  And these tools/sites provide the opportunity for that interaction at any time of the day or night.

While I am still trying to figure out how to balance my time at work while participating in these sites,  I’m glad there are options to eliminate one of the drawbacks to working remotely, professional loneliness.

Working from home?  You really are not alone anymore.

What are some things you do to combat professional loneliness?