When you work from home it can be hard to separate work time and personal time. For many entrepreneurs it can near impossible to create that division. Especially when entrepreneurs and business owners love what they do, it can be hard to stop working and maintain a social life. We asked a few entrepreneurs and business owners what they do to maintain an active social life.
#1 – Online Gaming
I stay connected with most of my buddies through some sort of online gaming. This is somewhat ideal because a close friend of mine has taken up the digital no mad lifestyle so this allows us to stay in touch pretty much everyday. If we can we'll get together we will play a board game, cards or some sort of LAN party but driving back n forth is becoming more difficult. I'll admit though that family social life is a little harder as my grandmother refuses to learn how to play games online!
Thanks to Sterling, ChainsToGains.com!
#2 – Yoga Classes
I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly two years ago. HQ is in Israel and I am out here solo supporting the business I helped to create. I quickly found that I needed to find a good routine that would get me out of the house. My social event of choice was a yoga class that would allow me to meet like-minded people in my area, many of whom are also transplants. What started as a twice a week outing has morphed into a wonderful group of friends that gets together on a regular basis. Scheduling coffee dates, fitness classes, and meetups keep me motivated to get out of the house. Not only that, I find my work is much more productive knowing that I have things to look forward to beyond the 4 walls of my home office.
Thanks to Nili Zaharony, Penguin Strategies!
#3 – Facebook & Couch-surfing
I have been an entrepreneur for a couple of years now and mostly working from home in that time. On top of that I was a freelancer before working from home remotely so quite some time working from home. Adding that I have social anxiety, I have started reading books about how to break this and overcome shyness. I use Facebook mostly to connect with friends it seems like it works the best at least with my friends as Twitter does not offer this talk kind of communicating. I also use couch-surfing because it is a
community of people that is bit more welcoming and open to new things.
Thanks to Hristo Petev!
#4 – Local Events & Parties
I work from home running my marketing consulting firm, Strazanac Solutions. I keep an active social life by attending local business events, networking mixers and having dinner parties with friends. I love networking events because they help boost my business and sometimes so do local events at small businesses (like grand openings, holiday events etc). I find hosting dinner parties allows me to reconnect with my friends and it gives us an opportunity to connect outside of social media. Some local events I like to attend are painting parties, wine tastings, business grand openings, holiday events and parties held at local museums for adults only.
Thanks to Samantha R. Strazanac, Strazanac Solutions!
#5 – Get Involved
I have worked from home for 29 years, and I have many different social communities. I volunteer at Kravis Center for Performing Arts and not only have I made friends, but also met the love of my life. I also see the best shows around my schedule. I volunteer at National Society of Arts and Letters and help aspiring artists and musicians and have made friends there. I volunteer for Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, and socialize with other professional women at breakfasts, lunches or after work. I volunteer at my Synagogue and have made good friends there. Really, there are so many opportunities to make a difference and have fun, but one needs to reach out and get involved. Travel can help change one's perspective, and everyone needs some time off.
Thanks to Susan Klein, Success Technologies Inc.!
#6 – Local Running Club
I’m a freelance content writer and social media manager. I joined a local running club and it’s a great way to have an active local social life. Being part of a local community group, as well as having people to meet up with to exercise is very motivating. It certainly gets me out the door on cold days! As well as finding new friends, I’ve also found another side effect has been a little bit of networking too. People are always interested in what you do and being ‘Laura, who does social media’ amongst the group has lead to some great local business connections as well.
Thanks to Laura Winton!
#7 – Dog Park, Beach Run or Lunch Breaks
As a certified yoga, pilates and nutrition instructor, I teach in my studio in my home most of the time. During my breaks, I love to socialize by taking my dog to the dog park during lunch time especially. There's a lot of people there and we really have fun and stimulating conversation. I have a few friends that live in town and we can take a beach run or have lunch on breaks as well. I feel like I'm engaged with social chat when I call my mom at times between clients. May sound weird but these little social breaks help me feel engaged and not so alone as a self employed person.
Thanks to Claudia Matles!
#8 – Social Kickball League
I hope you’re having a great day. My name is Cody Clifton and I work remotely for Challenge Coins 4 Less, a designer of high quality custom coins that are perfect for commemorating events, honoring our heroes, awarding employees, and more. One way that I maintain a fun and active social life is by participating in a social kickball league. Team rosters are organized at random, so it gives you an opportunity to meet new people over the course of an eight week season. At the conclusion of each game, local bars offer our league food and drink discounts. This allows us to continue the fun over a couple beers and a meal. I really like doing this because I get some exercise and love meeting new people. Also, it’s not too competitive so everyone is able to enjoy themselves.
Thanks to Cody Clifton, Challenge Coins 4 Less!
#9 – Plan Specific Social Activities
To keep an active social life while working from home, I plan specific social activities each month to attend. These include a monthly book club, a supper club with a small group of friends, Wine Down Fridays each week with four friends, spin classes weekly are social, so is pilates twice a week. I also try to schedule a lunch once a week with a business colleague but on a more personal basis so I get to know who they are, beyond what they do. In addition, I'm a member of a business social club, there are three in Atlanta, that have social events regularly throughout the month and I have those on my calendar. If you don't plan it, it won't happen. And it's easier if you create a hot email group that you invite to anything that comes up, theatre, a movie, dinner, a hike, a roadtrip.
Thanks to Melissa Galt, Prosper by Design!
#10 – 3 Things
As a busy Entrepreneur who is currently living nomadically, I have to work hard to stay focused on my social life. Her are my 3 favorite strategies for staying connected as a WAHM: (1) Meet-up Groups. Finding like-minded people is essential for me. Hanging out with other Mom Entrepreneurs allows me to fit in playdates for my kiddos while networking and visiting with other ambitious women. (2) Running groups. By bundling my exercise into social time, I'm moving my body, getting fresh air and getting motivation from the group. (3) Phone dates! Some mindless tasks are best done while visiting with a loved one or even chatting with a new prospective colleague. Folding laundry or stuffing envelopes…who knew it could keep your relationships strong.
Thanks to Flesché Hesch, The Business Advisor for Moms!
#11 – 3 Other Things
Working from home can become daunting. There are 3 things I make sure I do for myself personally to prevent feeling like the walls will close in on me: (1) Work from the local coffee shop 1-2 times per week. I go at 6AM, get a good seat, set up my devices, order coffee and breakfast and work. I chat with the other locals and say hi to the coffee shop owner. (2) Go to crossfit at 5AM. Exercise is important to me and helps keep me in shape (and sane). I make myself go to CF 2-3 times per week, even if I don't feel like it. I see my CF friends, socialize with them and get to train hard with them. (3) Meet a friend for breakfast or lunch once a week. It could be a business lunch or just a friend. But socializing over a meal is a great way to stay connected. I am a nutritionist and I run my company from home. I created a nutrition program that enable people to lose 10% of their body weight every month without shakes, pills, diet foods or exercise. I have clients all over North America.
Thanks to Cristy Nickel, Code Red Fitness & Nutrition, LLC!
#12 – Schedule Time
Working from home it is so easy to go stir-crazy. To keep myself structured, motivated, and engaged, each week I make sure to schedule at least one out-of-town client meeting, speech, and/or attend a networking event. I also schedule work dates with other friends and old colleagues who also work from home. Everyone brings their work and we all just keep each other company as we write emails, proposals, etc.
Thanks to Frances Reimers, Firestarter!
#13 – A Few Kinds of Outings
I love working at home. Absolutely love it. But I do my best to leave the house at least one day a week- so my manageable amount of quirky doesn't cross a line into weird. How do I do this? I set meetings with area businesses and invite folks to coffee or lunch. I work from the library, the original coworking space! And I look for meetups through Meetup or Eventbrite on topics I want to learn about; sometimes, these are people I hope to one day collaborate with or write about. These types of outings provide a feel of having coworkers- one of the things I didn't expect to miss when I made the switch!
Thanks to Amma Marfo!
#14 – 5 Things
I'm a crazy busy entrepreneur running my company based here in Detroit. However I still lead an active social life. Here is what I do (1) Make sure to have lunch dates with my girlfriends on the calendar each month. I like to end my week with a lunch date with a good friend and Fridays are a great day to do it! (2) Choose 1-2 philanthropic events to go to each month. Not only are these for a great cause but they are a fun way to have an active social life. I dedicate myself to many causes so I try to make sure they are events that are social and the attendees are people I love spending time with. (3) Make plans at least one weekend night per week. Life gets crazy busy with kids, work and commitments—so blocking off time to go out at least one night a weekend keeps you from being a couch potato and helps you stay social. (4) I workout with friends —I plan workouts on the weekends such as yoga, HIIT training and pilates with friends. (5) Attend sporting events—these can be fun and social at the same time.
Thanks to Stacy Goldberg, Savorfull!
#15 – Potluck
Clubs & bars are NOT my scene so to stay social since I work from home can be hard. I used to attend general meet ups but found it hard to build meaningful relationships as they were space and random. So I started to host a weekly Friday night potluck. Open house invite to a core group of people (friends, business colleagues, people I've met at other networking events I enjoyed) they are suggested to bring 1 friend so the content & discussions is always fresh. It's a great way to build strong relationships and also meet new people easily.
Thanks to Kristy Morrison!
#16 – Video Chats
Working in a fully remote company gives a lot of freedom but can get quite lonely on a day-to-day basis. We have some active Slack chats running and a decent amount of water-cooler talk in them, but it doesn't replace the human connection you get in an office environment. To keep myself connected with my employees, I schedule 1-on-1 video chats with them every month. During those we don't just talk about work, but try to connect on a personal level. Since Teamweek team has people from all over the world, we also arrange weekly video meetings where we talk about everyone's local culture and customs. Last month we learned all kinds of cool things about Indian weddings, Rio carnivals and witches paying taxes in Romania. It's also important to meet face-to-face, so we bring the whole team together to one location at least 3 times a year. We usually have a special work project for those trips too, but the biggest value is chatting with your coworkers over a beer and doing some sightseeing together. Keeping an active social life outside of work is actually much easier when working in a remote company. Flexible working hours allow to take part in events that start at odd hours and traveling while working is also possible if you do some pre-planning.
Thanks to Annika Helendi, Teamweek!
#17 – Monitor Social Events
To keep active social life, we monitor all events via Facebook groups, Instagram, etc. and do our best to join as many as possible. Great for our social life, great for the business, too. Also, we have daily video calls with the team and constantly chat via HipChat and Skype to keep the communication flowing and enjoy the team spirit.
Thanks to Lilia Stoyanov, Transformify!
#18 – See Friends & Date Night
I work from home a few days a week and it can get lonely at times. To make sure that I am in contact with the world and maintain friendships, I see my friends weekly – either on a Friday for lunch or Saturday evening out on the town. I also maintain a weekly date night schedule with my husband – either on a Friday or Saturday evening.
Thanks to Kristin Marquet, Creative Development Agency!
#19 – Numerous Ways
When you work from home, it takes even more initiative to see people face-to-face. It’s important to spend the energy doing it, though, as it can help prevent burnout and provide interaction you don’t experience during your workday. Over the years I’ve done this in a number of ways, such as joining a rowing team that practices three days a week, participating in a book club that meets monthly and leading a small group through my church. Think about what types of activities you enjoy or community groups you can get involved with outside of work, and make a commitment to attending regularly. It doesn’t have to be formal, either – you could just set a regular night where you and a few friends get together for dinner, such as the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Just make sure you’re consistent! In addition to providing the face-to-face interaction you miss from working at home all day, these sorts of activities can also provide enrichment through exercise, community service, group discussion, or even just regular relaxation and laughter with friends.
Thanks to Emily Sidley, Three Girls Media, Inc.!
#20 – 2 Weekday Social Events
One way I make it happen is by coordinating two weekday social events. Each event has regulars, but people are encouraged to bring friends too, so it has been a great way to meet new people. We get our week kicked off with Mondoba (Qdoba burritos on Monday night). Then on Thursday we have Beer Night, a tradition that began in graduate school but has continued on into my professional life. Everyone brings some craft beers that they would like to share (usually one 750ML bottle), and we enjoy them while socializing. People are often too busy on the weekends, so it's great to have weekday events to break up the work grind and keep friendships fresh.
Thanks to Geoff Scott, Resume Companion!
#21 – Quality Instead of Quantity
It's important to keep an active social life as a small business owner or entrepreneur, as it's a great strategy to avoid burnout. And you don't need to have a huge group of friends or family members in order to do so. At times, focusing on quality instead of quantity is a great route to take. Fellow business owners and entrepreneurs can make great friends too, and you can intersperse a little business talk into your social activities. If you struggle with meeting people, you could volunteer at an organization supporting a cause you believe in or maybe take a class at a local college. Or find a local gathering of folks who have a hobby you're interested in – you can find them at a website like Meetup. Attending church is another option if you're a religious type. They always have plenty of social activities for folks who want to get out more.
Thanks to Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers!