"I get lonely."
If you've got eight minutes today, listen to this NPR story about work/life balance, mainly how a government office allows their employees to work form home, nearly mirroring a results-only work environment (ROWE).
While it's a story about a changing workplace brought on by advances in technology and communications, it's more than a story about productivity (even though a big highlight was that processing time for government claims actually decreased by removing people from an office and a 9-to-5 schedule). Tucked in the middle of this intriguing story was a quote from a 17-year veteran who was opposed to the change. He eventually came around, but with one complaint:
"The way it works," he says, "all three of us could be home and it wouldn't affect anybody. Now, one drawback is, I get lonely at home. It's too quiet!"
And such is the swift downside to working in a rapidly-moving digital world. The entrepreneur, while a quasi-celebrity, often has a very lonely go of things. Freelancing can mean freedom, but it can also mean solitude. Beware.
Sure, you hate office politics, meaningless staff meetings, and boring corporate trailings. Breaking out of your cube means you'll break out of these routines, too. But think quickly about what babies will get tossed out with this career bath water.
If you're like me - an E when it comes to Myers-Briggs - then you need that human interaction to give you energy and creativity, to keep things flowing and moving. Working on your own, while liberating, can also be depressing.
Loneliness is a terrible feeling, whether you're an E or an I, so think long and hard about when you want to be around people and when you want to be solo. There's value in blazing your own trail, but there's also meaning in joining up with a wagon train as you explore the great unknown.