How to Retain Humanity in a Remote Economy
With the rise of digital nomads and remote work, how does a person not only maintain their well-being, but participate in the ever-important activity of networking?
As the world becomes more connected, individuals are becoming less connected due to the increase in work-from-home opportunities. While no one can deny the convenience of working from home, it does have its drawbacks. The lack of structure that working from home can bring can be the undoing of many. If you’re not a complete loner, you likely need at least some human interaction in your day, and working purely remote can definitely make one feel as if they are alone and isolated in the world.
No man / woman is an island.
You hear all the time how important it is to network. Networking is one of the most significant things you can do for your career and business. It’s an essential craft to master.
Inspirations and innovations are most found from external relationships, which leads to growth. Growth is essential for us all. You most certainly won’t experience growth and innovation sitting in your apartment staring at your screen, alone - every day - day in, day out. You’re not a robot, after all.
Even if you’re one of those people who hates idle chit chat, you can still network effectively. You can shift your perspective on networking. Your professional network acts as your sales team, affording you job and business opportunities you may not have discovered on your own.
As part of your well-being while working from home, you can incorporate networking into your daily routine. Schedule regular coffee breaks (virtual, if needed), lunch dates and/or happy hours to catch up with colleagues and maintain a sense of community. Expand your community while you are at it!
Be curious, have fun with learning. Ask questions and listen actively so you can learn more about the person you are talking to. Don’t be afraid to share your stories and insights. Ask people for help – many people are flattered by being asked to help. At the same time, assume people don’t know what you do or how you do it, educate them. Share your uniqueness, this creates pathways for others to remember you.
Don’t forget to show interest in what matters to your peers. Care about what their interests are and show your authenticity. Try to find common ground that goes beyond work-related topics and they will remember you and it will also create a more meaningful connection. In these days of AI and generic templates, a genuine human interaction is not only charming, it will reward you.
It is no longer the norm to have a single job for the extent of your career. You need to be prepared to switch gears (and jobs) and learn new skills as needed. Never underestimate the power of your connections; your connections will help you find your next gear. So, if you feel safe and comfortable in your home office, don’t forget your well-being and the need for human connection. Networking can fulfil this need and help you grow into the business and career you want at the same time.
As the future of work changes, so can you. The need for employees who can remain agile and adaptable will only increase. Being flexible, and finding new ways to be productive, and innovative, no matter where you live or what industry you are in, is your key. Your challenge is to retain and support your humanity, as well as your well-being, while adapting to this seemingly solo and robotic work environment.