Ideas and Validation March 9, 2020

Feeling lonely as a remote worker?

Corinn Pope @heytherebuddy

So as y'all know, working from home can get lonely and it's easy to feel isolated at times.

I was thinking of getting groups of remote workers together online to hang out for a virtual happy hour for ~30 mins a week.

I got the idea from hosting a little group like this in my last position and would love your feedback on the idea .

Would you want to participate in something like this? Any good places to consider promoting it to get some validation?

  1. 4

    I think it's a great idea. I do a lot of chatting in Slack, WhatsApp, etc. during the week, and I probably have ~10 video calls with @channingallen, podcast guests, etc. It definitely helps on the human interaction front, although it's not a full substitute for actually talking to people in real life.

    One thing I've found super helpful when traveling is just going to Indie Hackers meetups, or throwing them. It's always fun to talk to fellow IHers in just about any country, and the meetups feel successful whether 2 people show up or 50.

    1. 1

      Working on a product in this space. Would love to know: what is the most important thing for you that is missing from (video) chatting online compared to actually talking to people in real life?

      1. 1

        I rarely think anything is missing tbh. I've had plenty of great video chats on Zoom etc in recent days with groups of friends who are isolated due to the virus.

        1. 1

          Me too! It’s been a lifeline. How are your larger communities faring?

          What I’ve found is that it’s harder to meet new people because you can’t just walk up to them and have a casual one-on-one conversation in a group video conference. Especially since I’m not used to reaching out to new people online at all.

          Also, what did you mean that it’s not a full substitute for talking to people in real life? Mostly just not being able to hug them and so on?

  2. 3

    could be up for it. and try r/sideProject (best for validation)

    1. 1

      thanks! I'll give that a shot :-)

  3. 2

    I think Twitter would be a good place to share this idea, especially with ppl talking about the coronavirus. I think a lot of people want to hang out with people but also don't want to get sick

  4. 2

    Nah, that would be nothing more than a temporary band-aid solution to a deeper issue.

  5. 1

    Valid problem statement, and keeps coming up everytime I talk to remote workers. At I am trying to attack the problem statement from the managers side and potentially have a strong persona who would try to solve and thus pay for this solution within their team. Good luck! Happy to exchange notes and brainstorm if you want on this sometime :)

  6. 1

    I've been working remotely for almost 3 years now and I think this is a real problem that needs solving. Your landing page does a great way of describing what it can be like. I'm interested in participating but I wouldn't pay up front for it. I'd want to see some evidence that it leads to meaningful interactions and not just something I try once and forget about after. I think with evidence of past successes and continued access to regularly meet new people, I'd even be inclined to pay a small monthly fee for a service like this.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the response! Yeah. Trying to figure out the whole payment thing is definitely confusing for me right now. It seems like the group wisdom says charge more and whatever you make, don't make it free at first, only later. Maybe I should get a small group first that is free, maybe get some testimonials, and then charge a small monthly subscription? Or maybe I should just do something B2B at a higher price point instead haha 😅

      1. 1

        I think getting a small group first for free could work. They'd be happy to share testimonials and you can get a lot of feedback.

  7. 1

    Does hh stand for happy hour?

  8. 1

    Reminds me a little bit of this. but for a different purpose.

  9. 1

    Well, honestly, the problem is real. I am working as a remote developer for more than four years now. I am a bit introverted, although, I feel like I need social interaction quite often and not a fake one(like a video call or something). I need real social interaction. I want to shake a hand(physically). I want to see genuine emotion, and so on. I participated in a similar thing(calls with freelancers(friends); it does not work for me).

    I go to the gym; I work from a coworking space. I go to meetups and conferences when I can. And this is the one and only way(for me at least) to feel alive.

    We are social animals; we survived because we lived as groups(families) for an extended period. And now, all of a sudden, you can work from any place in the world, but evolution does not adapt that fast. Go outside, meet people. We need friends and families)

  10. 1

    Neat idea!

  11. 1

    Join a gym. Commit to an hour a day. I am a hybrid: work from home half the day and most of my other jobs are at home. While it's amazing and I love it, it also enables my Internet addiction and my introvertness in favor of being anti-social. While I don't really like to deal with people, ironically, I do miss human connection when I'm not around it for long periods of time. Not sure how much I'd pay or whatever, as there are free meetup websites, but truth is... no interest. It'd certainly be interesting to see people reaching out to me as well, also looking, and putting that peer pressure on.

    1. 1

      Totally understand! And agree on the introvertedness resulting in wanting to spend more time in front of a screen than other people.

      I'll be honest, most of the time I don't want to have to deal with whole fighting traffic thing to get to meetups — which tend to happen downtown right at the end of rush hour. Talk about first world problems :-P

  12. 1

    That's a good idea. I typically go to meetups when I need to connect with people, but this could be a good alternative in remote areas where there aren't many meetups.

  13. 1

    That's an awesome idea.