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To build community, telecommuters form groups

One of the drawbacks of working in a virtual office is that sometimes it's a lonely business. Without a bustling office of coworkers, professionals might feel stymied by isolation. However, telecommuters around the world have created a sense of community by forming work from home groups, which meet up regularly to share workspaces and socialize.

Unlike a lunch club, work from home groups get together to be productive on the job. And unlike workers in standard offices, those groups consist of workers from many different industries and companies. A consultant could sit across a kitchen table from a copywriter, a freelance video editor and a salesperson. By connecting in person with friends who also telecommute, it's easy to ward off the lack of connection that sometimes frustrates flex workers. 

Many of them use apps like Meetup, which lists nearly 800 work from home groups around the world. Some of them are devoted to "mommies," while others emphasize professional fields like coding. In Brooklyn, flex workers established the "Crown Heights/Prospect Heights work-from-homers" group. 

"This is a group for anyone interested in making some 'virtual co-workers' in the Crown Heights/Prospect Heights area," explains the summary. "If you miss stepping out to grab a cup of coffee or tea with a co-worker or taking a short walk around the block or even going out to lunch, this is the group for you."

In the never ending quest to "have it all," groups like these can promote personal and professional relationships between people with shared experiences. The web is full of social resources that can help you start a group in your area. Enjoying a network of telecommuters even one day a week can give flex workers the satisfaction they need to do their best work. 

There are dozens of these groups to explore in the area, where living rooms can become your office space in Tampa.  Then, on those occasions when you need a more formal meeting space than a kitchen table, turn to On Point Executives Center.

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