Isolation and loneliness are common invaders of our work from home way of life, but they are more like stealthy infiltrators than they are blatant, barefaced attackers. These unwelcome intruders sometimes show up with their friends, distractions, lack of motivation, burnout, monotony and loss of productivity. Having a support system is a faster, better way to thwart these hooligans.

Having a support system makes us stronger, gives us more energy and is infinitely more fun. But how do you go about getting a support system when you are sitting alone in your home office? How would a work from home support system look and what would it do for you?

It is possible to be your own boss as an independent contractor, set your own hours and plug into a support system. We offer flexibility within structure, a blending of both worlds.

Flexibility within structure. In our virtual call center, there are multiple opportunities throughout the day starting at 6:50 am for coffee, to check in with other humans who are engaged in their work from their respective home offices, doing the same lead generation job as you from your own home office. You may or may not be able to be on every single meeting, however, we find that most people make it a practice to attend. Benefits of attending the virtual huddles include opportunities for skill building, contest participation and updates, recognitions, information and announcements, camaraderie and fun. The meetings throughout the day provide a structure but you have the flexibility to choose your own schedule as long as minimum requirements are met.

Lean on us. As the famous Bill Withers song goes, Lean on Me, at TeleReach Corporate there is no need to go it alone. You can lean on the “collective me” by leaning on us as part of your support system.

Lean on Me (Lyrics)

For it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on

Three core groups of support. There are three core groups that make up a strong support system, 1) family, 2) friends, and 3) professional colleagues, which includes mentors and coaches. We are social creatures and need other humans to thrive. A strong support system can often help reduce stress. Having a strong support system gives you a group of people that you can go to for assistance with your issues. The level of support that you receive from each of these groups will vary, but they are all essential for a complete support system. At any given time, these three groups will provide one of four types of social support—emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal.

Social support and social interaction have a positive influence on your physical and mental health. Research has shown that having a strong support system has many positive benefits, such as higher levels of well-being, better coping skills, and a longer and healthier life. Studies have also shown that social support can reduce depression and anxiety.

Encouragement and leadership. Our virtual huddles provide opportunities to receive encouragement from members of the team and also to be an encourager of others. We read compliments from clients in the meetings, celebrate our successes and focus on goals. One day you may need to draw strength from the leaders who are doing well and, on another day, you may be a leader providing strength and energy to others. We get to know each other and we approach our work together as a team.

You might think of it as the difference between watching a game on TV and being on the field immersed in the energy of a live game. It may be possible to doze off, feeling detached and isolated from an observer position on the sofa, but it’s something else altogether to feel lonely or get distracted when you are on the field in the middle of a live game surrounded by cheerleaders, coaches and professional colleagues. It’s easier to maintain stamina, confidence and push yourself when you know that real people, not nameless, faceless internet friends, are counting on you and you know that you can count on them.

Having a support system can help you avoid the common infiltrators of working from home such as;

Monotony Burnout
Isolation, lack of community and teamwork Distractions
Lack of motivation Loss of productivity

A support system makes it difficult for these common infiltrators to move in and take root. Once they’ve taken root, getting rid of them may be more difficult. If you’ve been hesitant to try working from home because you want to avoid any of these negatives listed above, consider the option of being both your own boss and having a support system. You can have the flexibility of setting your own schedule within a system that offers structure and support.

The 120 Year Winter Storm of February 2021.  The recent ice storm disrupted so many people in so many ways. Texas was famous on the national news and those of us in Texas were affected one way or the other with lost power, water, food, gas, internet and even cell phone service. This week it wasn’t “Houston, we have a problem,” it was “Houston has a problem.” And, are they really going to start naming winter storms in addition to naming Hurricanes?

During the epic storm week, TeleReach continued to operate, generating leads nationwide without me and without many of our support staff. So many people stepped up, went above and beyond, even some people I didn’t know were part of our support system, like the wonderful young man with Windstream who volunteered to work over the weekend because so many people needed help, including us.

Ironically, when I started writing this article and thinking about the words to the song, Lean on Me,

I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

it didn’t occur to me that the song lyrics were going to be about me, that I would be one of the ones who needed somebody to lean on. Without intending to, I certainly put our Lean on Us work from home support system to the test. I am so grateful for all the help I have received this week, both personally as well as on a business level. An emergency of this magnitude reminds us all to be grateful for everyday things that we may otherwise take for granted. I don’t know about you, but for as long as I live, I will never again take a hot shower for granted.

Tracie Chancellor
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