New Year, fresh start, back to work. No more Christmas parties, the days are long and dark, sobriety beckons and for many people this is the time of year to hunker down, binge on boxsets and just get on with it in antisocial bliss until the seasons start to turn. Winter = nesting season.
But spare a thought for the 4.9m self-employed people in the UK. That’s the message from Sunday Times writer Emma Gannon who says that winter can be tough for this group, because it can be tempting to stay indoors, work more than usual and see fewer people. If you don’t have an office to go to every day, it can suddenly become lonely – especially when it gets dark at 4pm and you don’t have colleagues to whinge to. Human beings, she continues, are social animals, and hibernation can take its toll mentally.
Being self-employed has many benefits – the flexibility, the freedom, the financial opportunities – but it can be extremely isolating during the winter months.
The solution? She suggests a myriad of options including joining a co-working space; updating your website to generate more leads; getting testimonials from existing clients; socialising with other freelancers; going to an evening networking event or lunch. Check out Facebook groups for freelancer meet-ups or Eventbrite; arrange face-to-face meetings with your clients from time to time.
Futon Company says: Some wise words from Emma Gannon. While the idea of self-employment sounds ideal, there are practicalities to mindful of, especially if you’re just starting out. Keep yourself peopled and resist the urge to hibernate completely (even if it’s just taking the dog for a walk or popping out for a paper). There’s a big wide world of people out there! What’s more, if you’re spending vast swathes of time at home it’s important that the space you work and rest in is fit for purpose. Check out our office-based goodies to make home-working a positive experience…