Remote work is on the rise. As of 2016, 43 percent of Americans reported that they worked from home at least some of the time, according to a Gallup survey. The uptick in remote work makes total sense: Working on your own terms means you鈥檒l enjoy more independence and freedom, fewer distractions, and potentially even more productivity. Sounds good, right? So what鈥檚 the catch? For introverted personalities who thrive on time to themselves, the work-from-home life might feel like a dream come true 鈥 but for extroverts, the lack of social interaction may feel taxing. Whether you鈥檙e a freelance creative or you telecommute to your tech gig on the opposite coast, part of working from home (or a campsite, for that matter!) is less face-to-face engagement with co-workers. But you shouldn鈥檛 have to sacrifice your social life or mental health to enjoy the many benefits of remote work. If you鈥檙e an at-home extrovert, here are a few ways to maximize your success at work without compromising your well-being.

Two people chat across a desk in a bright office

1. Consider a co-working space. Let鈥檚 face it: One of the biggest perks of working from home is the freedom to stay in your pajamas until 11am (or 3pm, depending on the day). But what good is that freedom if you鈥檙e not taking care of yourself in other, more important ways? To make sure you鈥檙e getting the social stimulation that lights you up, think about renting a desk at a co-working space once or twice a week. Not only will you get to enjoy the amenities (WiFi, coffee, and printers, oh my!), but you鈥檒l get to meet new people. The best of both worlds, right?

2. Log in to Basecamp or Slack. If you work remotely for a company, it鈥檚 important that you feel connected and engaged with what鈥檚 happening in the office, even if said office is totally virtual. Joining your organization鈥檚 Basecamp or Slack chats is a great way to create a sense of community when you work remotely. Even though you鈥檙e at home, you鈥檒l be able to bounce ideas off colleagues 鈥 and share adorable pics of your dog 鈥 just like you鈥檙e standing around the water cooler at the office. If you鈥檙e a freelancer, fear not 鈥 there are plenty of resources for you, whether you join a professional interest group, union, or even start a group chat with your freelancing BFFs. You might also want to consider joining a group like Freelance to Freedom, which offers online community, support, and resources for entrepreneurs and freelancers. Keep in mind it might be beneficial to make connections specifically with those in your field 鈥 for example, if you鈥檙e in media, check out Study Hall, a digital resource and community for freelance writers and journalists.

A pair of friends take a selfie together at a sidewalk cafe

3. Schedule regular lunch and coffee dates. One perk of working in an office is you鈥檒l probably rarely have to eat your lunch or make a coffee run alone. Why not build a similar routine into your freelance grind? Make an effort to schedule a once-weekly lunch out with a friend or fellow freelancer at your favorite spot. Not only will you get out of the house and break up your work day a little bit, but you鈥檒l also get a chance to enjoy some much-needed face-to-face conversation.

4. Take a break to browse social media. One hard part about working from home is feeling like you鈥檙e out of the loop. Working in an office is like being part of an ongoing conversation, which you might miss when you鈥檙e hunkered down in your home office. It might sound counterproductive, but carving out a few minutes each day to hop on social media can prevent you from feeling isolated when you work remotely. If you do take breaks for social media, just set firm boundaries so you don鈥檛 fall into an Insta-scroll rabbit hole and compromise your productivity.

5. Participate in networking events. Another great way to enjoy some social interaction is attending networking events in your area. Whether you join in on a professional lunch or happy hour simply to meet other freelancers in your city or you attend more strategically to build up your client base, making an effort to include networking in your routine will likely have both social and financial benefits. Plus, having something to look forward to 鈥 like an amazing cocktail at your favorite spot 鈥 can do wonders for morale!

Are you an extrovert who works from home? Tell us how you stay social during the work week @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)