21 Mar 6 Networking ideas when you work from home
The perks of working from home are countless – no commute, flexible hours, peace of mind, managing your own schedule and being your own boss; who’d want to give up any of that! However, like everything else, working from home or anywhere remotely, has its own challenges – one of the biggest being the lack of face-to-face contact with other professionals. Because you are mostly working on your own, even though you are virtually connected to your team, you tend to lose out on opportunities for natural networking (in person) within your industry space and even across departments within your organisation.
As experts in the work-from-home segment, we, at Arise, understand why networking is essential for you and your business and provide options which can help you connect with people beyond your home office.
Use the power of social networking – If you want to stay virtually connected to the world, then you might as well leverage your social presence. LinkedIn – the largest social community of professionals – connects industry experts, executives, self-employed people and professionals from all different walks of life, on one platform. You can connect to groups relevant to your specialisation and skills, and participate in pertinent conversations. It can help you get an insight into the latest happenings and learn about industry influencers.
Participate in online forums- Online forums might be an outdated concept but they are making a comeback and are a great platform for professionals to connect with people through relevant conversations in their respective industry spaces and key skill areas.
Join the bandwagon of shared office spaces – Just because you are a ‘work-from-home’ professional, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work from your own living space. Trending for a while now, the concept of shared office spaces has spread across many cities. A common work-space, equipped with all necessities – wi-fi, phones, desks and refreshment areas – are frequented by professionals, just like you, all working together, yet on their own. They can be fascinating places to work from, especially for remote workers. Shared offices allow you to meet people like yourself and more.
Be a part of community events- It might seem a tad boring, but community events can be an effective source of networking, if your objective is mainly to build contacts and be-in-the-know. From local schools, churches, to book clubs, pet-lovers’ associations or even foreign language groups, communities are a fun thing to be a part of. You get to meet people from diverse cultures, varied professions, young or experienced, salaried or self-employed. It will not only open your mind to innovative ideas but also help you grow your own network. Not everyone would be the right kind of contact for you, but one cannot judge a book by its cover.
Attend industry workshops- Workshops can be of great benefit to professionals, especially if you are working remotely. Training sessions and seminars related to your field of work can help you meet people of your league, connect with industry experts, corporate trainers and let you build your business network. Additionally, they also help boost your skillset. So, next time you hear about a workshop in your city, sign up and spend a day networking.
Stay connected with your college alumni– It might sound conventional, but your educational institute can be a great place to consider for networking. Find out if your college or university organise meet-ups and alumni events where you can find an opportunity to meet your old classmates who could turn into important business contacts. So, look out for the next alumni meet; you never know who you might end up meeting.
Business networking is a must for any professional and there is no reason for work-from-home professionals to miss out on this opportunity. All it takes is a little time, the right opportunity and effort to put yourself out there where your future contacts are.