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Get out of the house

Before I became an independent programmer, I thought longingly about working from home regularly. I would escape that slightly creepy employee who offered to take naked pictures of my friend (really). I would stay focused without interruptions the sales guy who needed help with Microsoft Word. I wouldn't be trapped in a depressing beige cubicle.

This is all true of course. But something I've learned is that you have to get out of the house too. In fact, if you are smart you will try to find activities that will get out a few times a week. Here's three reasons why getting away from your home office will help you and your business.

Keeps you circulating

Sooner or later you will need new business, and word of mouth is often a great way for prospective clients to find you. To make that successful, you need to connect with others. I set up regular lunches with former colleagues, and attend community activities and networking events. This works best if you are always doing it, instead of waiting until you NEED the work. Plus it gives you an opportunity to find out what is happening with other developers and business people.

Reminds you of how to talk to people.

I spend most of my time communicating via email. It may sound nutty, but after a while I forgot how to talk about my business without sounding awkward. Getting out into the real world has helped me get more comfortable with in-person interactions.

Staves off loneliness

You might not think you will ever get lonely working every day on your own, but if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. For the first year or two I was fine, but eventually I realized I was missing the camaraderie of the office environment. Leaving the comforts of my home office for an occasional lunch or networking event has made that a non-issue.

You don't need to plan something for every day. But trust me when I tell you that connecting with people a few times a week in-person will be good for you and your business.

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