Today, we live in a climate with crazy amounts of access. One of the things we are fortunate enough to have access to, is people — virtually, at least. According to research by the New York Times in 2017, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spend some time working remotely. While these numbers continue to rise, we cannot forget the value of in-person connections.
The way we are wired as human beings, we still require in-person connections, and with all the remote work, here are four ways you can get the facetime you want and crave:
- Do you work from home? No problem! In major cities all over the world, we are seeing co-working spaces pop up. This is because people do indeed feed off the energy of other individuals and enjoy collaborating with one another. Check with your company to see if there is a stipend you can use to join a co-working environment. There is a double bonus to communal work spaces because you get to meet other professionals, as well as connect with your community.
- Go to conferences and trade shows. These events are packed full of learning and networking opportunities. Not only are you able to learn new things and meet new people, you are also making those in-person connections with professionals in your industry. According to The Washington Post, eight out of 10 executives prefer face-to-face meetings over virtual meetings when it comes to decision making for their company. Attending conferences and trade shows put you in front of countless professionals. These in-person connections can propel your business, which may not have been achieved in an email.
- Use video conferencing. It may not be like those complete in-person connections, but virtually, it’s as close as you can get (at least for now). Seeing the person’s face — and their expressions or gestures — automatically becomes a more personal connection, rather than just a regular old phone call. There are several free platforms to make this possible, such as Zoom, Skype, ConferenceCall.com and many more. Video calling is not only great to use for new businesses, but also to connect with your team. I use Zoom daily, and I can truly say it is a valuable tool.
- Take time to get out. If you’re like me, you can find yourself behind your desk from the time you wake up until you become hungry for dinner. I make sure that at some point in my day, I go for a walk, do yoga or grab coffee to get me out of the house. In-person connections are not only important professionally, but also personally. I find I am more productive and creative when I take even 15 minutes to leave my home office and connect with the outside world.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in what technology has provided us, that we can go a whole day without seeing or even speaking to one person. Taking advantage of co-working spaces, trade shows, video conferencing and “me time” are all ways to make sure you are getting the in-person connections that, biologically, we all need to be successful. If you have not tried any of these, I challenge you to implement at least one in your routine this week.
Lindsey Rainwater is a business advisor, founder, writer and keynote speaker in the fitness and wellness industry. For more information, follow Rainwater on Twitter @LindseyRainH2o.