Working from Home: Disadvantages

While working from home seems like a dream come true, there are some disadvantages associated with it. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Lack of communication: The most obvious disadvantage of working from home is the lack of personal interaction and direct communication you would usually have while you are in the office.  

You don’t have the luxury of just standing up and asking a question to your coworker over the wall of your cubicle or walking down the hallway to the accounts department for help in filing the I.T returns.

  1. Distraction: One of the next biggest disadvantages of working from home is that you get distracted. Well, it is true that one of the advantages of working from home is avoiding distraction at work, but different distractions arise at home front too.
    • When family members (children, spouse, and/or parents) are at home, you may get distracted which can make working difficult. You may want to spend some time with them.
    • Interruptions from children, house work, neighbors, friends, and family may distract you.
    • If you have children, they will want to talk to you and play with you when they get back from school.

You need to make special efforts to make it clear that you are working despite being at home and that you are unavailable for interruption and socialization within your working hours. You also need to tell the kids not to disturb you while you work. Hence, a separate office area or a table helps. It will pass on the message to the kids that it is work time.

  1. Bringing in work into home Life: Most of the time, when I work home even for a day, I find myself working more hours. It is probably the thought that I am getting avail the work from home facility and privilege makes me put in longer hours. To add to my woes, I also love my work!

The lack of physical separation between home and work may add to the pressure to work endlessly. It may be compounded by the fact that you feel there are greater expectations made of you or by self-imposed pressures to prove yourself and your abilities.

To avoid this situation, you need to set your working hours, probably the work hours you would follow if you work from the office, say 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Since there is no-one looking over your shoulder enforcing strict hours you may feel tempted to work endlessly.

  1. Bringing in home activities into work: Sometimes, the temptation to engage in household matters since you are at home is very strong. You may want to take spare an hour or two to clean the home, go shopping, do the cooking, do some preparation for an upcoming festival, or socialize with friends. You may feel that since you will put in extra hours later in the day or over the weekend, it is okay to indulge in these activities.

This struggle usually happens to those who are not mature in nature.It is essential to draw the line between home and work activities. If possible, setup a room just for your office that you only use for work. Working out of a living room or your bedroom will only make separating work life from home life more difficult.

  1. Isolation: Often, people working from home complain of isolation and loneliness, especially if they have worked in the office environment for a long time. I know of many married women who like going to work because they a get a break from their house hold responsibilities, get to mingle with people for a while, and can get away from their mothers in laws for a while. Though many enjoy the idea of working from home, to some, this can be very depressing.

People working from home may feel alienated from company developments. In many organizations, things change overnight. You may find yourself removed from important developments such as staff changes, changes in company direction, promotions, etc. Often an arrangement where you report into the office atleast twice a week is a good as it allows for interaction with colleagues and supervisors. It also ensures that you remain in touch with happenings and developments of the company while still working from the comfort of your home.

  1. Perceptions: Many people don’t take work from home seriously. If you work from home, friends feel that they can drop in any time in or send their kids for baby-sitting simply because you are at home. 

Friends and relatives feel that they can call you any time of the day for a long chat since you are not at office. After a while you yourself start feeling that there is nothing wrong in doing these, after all you have all the flexibility you want. Wrong!

  1. Procrastination: It is easier to procrastinate while working from home since all it takes is to switch on the TV to start watching a cricket match, and sit there engrossed in the match.

It is very easy to get distracted with anything. Also, the idea of being at home can make you feel lazy and therefore cause you to procrastinate.

  1. Miss promotion: The danger of being overlooked for promotions and career development opportunities can happen when you are away from the office for a very long duration. So, you need to put in effort to prevent the out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome.

You need to have an open line of communication with management and co-workers. It is also important to make regular visits to the office to prove your dedication and commitment to your career.

  1. Need for self-discipline: Working from home is not for anyone. It takes a lot of dedication, self-control, and discipline to motivate yourself to work efficiently and effectively without getting distracted.

You should also ensure not to do home/personal activities at work hours. Even if you do, inform the manager and co-workers about it.

  1. Resentment: Last but not the least, you must be aware that many co-workers may be jealous of your good luck You may relax in your home office and do your work, but some co workers may harbor resentment that they must be in the office while you are relaxing at the comfort of your home.



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