The following post was highlighted this week on Dot Complicated. As a featured contributor, I’ll be writing regularly about technology and the role in plays in my world — for better or worse. Check out other articles that include stories and tips for managing all the tech in your life at Dot Complicated.
Commuting. All-hands meetings. Status meetings. Team meetings. Concept meetings. Presentation meetings. (Yep, all kinds of meetings.) Each of these were a part of my everyday world for 12 years. And for 12 years, I dreamed of the day when I would become a freelance writer. Of the day that I could escape the corporate world and become my own boss.
That dream came true almost three years ago. At that point, I officially became a work-from-home freelance writer. Oh, the freedom! Of course running your own businesses comes with its own challenges, but there hasn’t been a day that I’ve looked back.
Until last week.
I was sitting in my office (which happens to be my neighborhood Starbucks), when three people sat down next to me. It quickly became apparent that the three were co-workers when the (rather loud, and lively) conversation turned to business.
First up, office politics. Sure don’t miss that.
Next up, presentation strategy. Well, I don’t totally miss that. But I always did love how one person’s idea got even bigger when someone else chimed in…
And finally, life beyond the office. They laughed as they told stories about their kids, looked forward to vacation plans, and teased each other about various things.
That. That’s what I really miss. The camaraderie. The shared experiences. The idea that the people you work with aren’t just bodies at a desk nearby, but are people you respect, admire, learn from, and laugh with. Some of my best friends through the years also happened to be my colleagues. So, yes, I miss coffee break chats (along with the free latte bars, of course) and cafeteria conversations (pretty much anything can be made better with curly fries).
While I’ll be the first to celebrate and promote having the opportunity to work remotely or from home, I’ll also be honest that it can get lonely. Which is why I’m so very grateful for social media. People can laugh and say that time on Facebook is wasted. Or that sharing a photo on Instagram is just begging for attention.
But to me, they — along with other social media sites — are a lifeline. They connect me to minds that make mine think in new ways. They help me build my own community where people share experiences and ideas. They challenge me to see different points of view and try new things. And sometimes? Well, they’re simply good for a cheap laugh. And if you ask me, that’s something everybody can use to get through the day. Even those of us who are lucky enough to wear sweats to work.