When you are an entrepreneur of any flavour, one thing is vital – you need a network of people to expand your business, find new customers and build relationships. Having an ever-expanding network is crucial for your business but it is also very important for you as well. In fact, networking is an essential part of wellness for digital nomads, the self-employed and people working alone.
Working from Home or Travelling to the Office?
The rise in the number of people that are self-employed started in the early 2000s and showed no signs of stopping. Government figures showed that the number rose from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015 and has continued to rise since then.
Digital Nomads have also seen significant growth. These are people that work online and can travel, working in different locations and making use of public facilities such as coffee shops and co-working spaces.
In fact, more people than ever are working in non-traditional ways. It might mean working from home in a flexible working job or being a freelancer. It might mean running a business from a home office, operating primarily online.
And while these lifestyles have a lot going for them, there are some downsides.
Don’t get Addicted to Technology
Whether you are running your own business, working from home or are a digital nomad, there is a tendency to spend a lot of time by ourselves. While the UK isn’t ‘top of the charts’ for time spent on smartphones and other digital devices, we are in the top ten, with people filling around two hours of their day on their phones. On top of that, there’s time spent on laptop or desktops working and maybe looking at social media.
It can lead to a range of mental health problems. 30% of entrepreneurs worldwide have reported depression while another 27% admitted to feelings of anxiety. Even the digital nomad, travelling from place to place as they please, can still experience problems such as loneliness and sense of disassociation from other people.
Attend Networking Events and Members Parties to Meet New People
That’s where networking can come in. Traditionally, networking was about meeting people in the same industry as you to exchange business cards, build relationships and find new clients. And while this is still the case, there is more to the modern-day networking than just this.
Meeting new people can open your mind to new ideas and can help you cut down on that technology overload, by getting out there and talking to people. It is a fact that humans get a buzz from having a conversation with someone, boosting your wellbeing and mental health. Attending networking events of any kind gets you away from that computer screen and the constant demands of your job.
Digital nomads need to make sure they engage when networking, even if it isn’t required for their business. It is a chance to socialise and learn from others, hear a different viewpoint (other than their own) and to have fun. Even when you are meeting new people on a regular basis, there’s something special about networking that is worth investing your time.
The Benefits of Networking
The modern concept of networking is much enhanced compared to the old days of stuffy meeting gatherings with everyone in corporate wear. Today you can use dedicated networking sites that help you meet up with people who have similar professions to you, attend fun events (that may not be directly work-related) and make new friends.
Socialising and getting away from the computer screen is so important when you work alone, or you are your own business. With the number of people suffering from conditions such as depression on the rise, the human element in networking is outweighing the business element. Wherever you are in the country, there are networks out there to join and new friends to make, giving yourself that much needed time away from the screen.