Do you often envision working from the comfort of your own home and feel driven to make it happen? Perhaps you have a new job opportunity that requires more at-home work than in-office work – do you really know what you are getting yourself into? The reality is that while the concept of working from home is alluring, there are plenty of downsides and disadvantages that you should be well aware of before taking the plunge.
Yup, working from home is probably a far cry from what you imagined it to be. Here you thought it was all sunshine and rainbows, when in reality, it’s quite hard to get things done when you work from home. If you’re still sitting on the fence and aren’t quite sure, perhaps a look at each of the potential disadvantages will help.
16 reasons why working from home is more difficult than you think!
1. Lack of motivation and drive.
When you go into the office, you have a boss and possibly a manager or supervisor guiding you through the things that need to be done. Perhaps being reminded of the goals and being checked on every now and then makes one feel more motivated and driven to get things done. Working from home is far more relaxed than the workplace. You might find that after the first week or two, you lose your motivation and start to slack off or really struggle to stay on track with work.
2. Too many distractions.
When you go to the office, you are surrounded by people all working just like you. There’s a constant focus on work. When you are working at home, you are surrounded by music, your television, the garden, Netflix, books, pets, and so on. There’s a lot to distract you from work at home. It’s quite hard to get settled and into work.
3. Fridge access is far too easy.
You might find that you put on a bit of weight when working from home. When you’re at work, chances are that you have a snack or light lunch in your break. At home, the fridge is readily available at all times of the day, and there are not too many witnesses to see you snacking. You might snack from the moment you wake up until you go to bed.
4. Personal expenses increase (even if slightly).
Working from home might cause an increase in your utility bills. You will be boiling the kettle several more times during the day than ever before. You will be using the bathroom, using the electricity, and possibly using your personal mobile phone to make work-related calls. All of this could lead to higher bills for you at the end of the month.
5. Lacks a sense of community.
When you work from home, there’s a definite lack of face to face contact with other humans. This might be fine for a while, but after a few weeks, you might start to feel lonely and disconnected from your peers and community. Working from home can isolate you a bit.
6. Communication difficulties crop up.
At the office, you can stroll over to a colleague’s desk and ask them a question. If they are confused, you can quickly show them on the computer or present them with the paperwork. When working from home, you won’t have face to face communication with someone, which could result in confusion, frustration, and a great deal of time-wasting.
7. Difficult to manage team member accountability.
If you are working as part of a team, having everyone present in one office space makes it easier to track each team member’s accountability. When working from home, one team member could slack off, and it would take a bit of time before it becomes obvious. You could lag behind on projects or have to confront workers about their level of effort.
8. Productivity levels may decline.
You might find that when you work from home, you work slower. There’s no one watching over your shoulder, so you will probably spend more time on social media and watching TV. Before you know it, your productivity levels have plummeted and the business is suffering (and clients are unhappy) as a result.
9. Cyber-security (data security) concerns/risks.
When all employees are in the office, the cybersecurity is provided. When working from home, you are using your own network, which might not be up to scratch in terms of security. If you aren’t provided with the right software and dedicated business devices to use, you might find that you put the sensitive data you deal with at risk. Clicking on strange email links, visiting websites, or simply not having a secure Wi-Fi password can put your device at risk. The company you work for could end up being hacked!
10. Lack of routine.
When you go into work every day, there’s a set routine in place. You wake up a certain time, get up, get showered and dressed, and actively get into work mode. The rest of your day is then governed by a routine and broken up by a tea break and lunch break. When you work from home, there’s no actual routine. You could wake up at the very last minute and spend the day working in your PJs. You could eat whenever you want and take breaks whenever you want. Obviously, this isn’t good for you in terms of mental happiness and workload management.
11. Risk of boredom and listlessness.
When at work, you have work colleagues to chat to, joke with, and generally experience the workday with. Chances are, you keep up to date with the latest news and gossip because you are surrounded by people. When you work from home, there’s no real entertainment right in front of. You could start to feel bored and listless, which can become frustrating or detrimental to your happiness. You may even start to feel job dissatisfaction.
12. Unreliable Wi-Fi and cell signal.
When you are using your own personal broadband service, it might not be as reliable as your work’s internet service. You could suffer unreliable connectivity or lengthy downtimes. You might even struggle handling calls on your mobile phone, if you live in an area with poor cell signal.
13. Waiting for answers.
The waiting can become very frustrating. Imagine you need to just find out one small detail on a project, and it is holding you up, but you cannot get hold of the person at work who can give you the answers. If you were in the office, locating the person would be easier. While working from home, you might find yourself waiting quite a long time for answers.
14. Risk of missing important calls and messages.
At the office, you have a dedicated telephone line. Calls come in for you and you take them. When you are at home, things are a little less regulated and convenient. You might miss a call from a client when you’re outside watering your pot plants that just happened to distract you. Or you might have a quick nap and miss several important work messages and calls. Working from home can cause people to become slack in terms of availability.
15. Noise in the background when dealing with clients (unprofessional).
If you work from home and have noisy kids, pets, or neighbors, you are going to sound fairly unprofessional to clients. Of course, it’s not your fault, but it’s still a problem for the image of the business if your dog is manically barking and your child is screaming while you are trying to close a big business deal.
16. Overworking – hard to switch off.
If you are a dedicated, hardworking employee, you might find that you spend extra hours working. This can be good for you and the business, but it can become bad for you if you just can’t switch off. Work is always with you, and you could find yourself neglecting your family, friends, hobbies, and very important relaxation time.
Working from the comfort of your home sounds like a dream job, but it comes with its downsides. If you have what it takes to work from home, then go for it. If you don’t think that most of the above disadvantages can be worked around, avoid working from home… you might just regret it!