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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Effects of L­a­ck of Com­m­u­n­ica­tion­

Lack of communication affects the whole personality of the human being—-personal, professional and social life. If you don’t communicate with your partners, they will feel lonely and isolated which might make them emotionally vulnerable and make them withdraw from social activities. Lack of communication creates a chain of problems. One thing leads to another, which results in another problem.

  1.  Lack of Intimacy: Lack of communication causes loss of romance. Men and women think and communicate differently when it comes to intimacy. Sex and romance are topics that many couples don’t talk about openly, even today. This failure to communicate can build walls and barriers and ultimately destroy the relationship. If a woman does not communicate her needs, likes, and/or dislikes, she ends up feeling disrespected. A man who does not communicate his desires will be unsatisfied because he ends up feeling that his partner doesn’t want to satisfy his needs.
  2. Depression: When romance flies out a relationship, healthy intimacy will be missing too. Lack of communication coupled with lack of intimacy, care, and affection will further strain relation and you are bound to feel depressed. As you know depression is a root cause of other problems and ailments.
  3. Loneliness: When there is almost no communication and when conversation goes nowhere, and when depression and lack of intimacy creeps in, partners feel disconnected from each other. You sense the feeling of loneliness even when living in the same house. The couple no longer talk about themselves, the kids family, or what happened at the office. They lead separate lives and have different set of friends. This makes them feel even more isolated.
  4. Arguments: Lack of communication results in unsettled issues which further leads to tension and harsh words. They talk to one another, but don’t actually communicate. If ego creeps into this situation, then the couple usually ends up communicating through blame and shame. Then, they engage in name calling, mud-slinging, and accusations. Hence, their arguments either remain unresolved or will probably get worse.
  5. Failing Relationship: Lack of communication can break existing as well as potential relationships. It creates a sense of dissatisfaction, confusion, restlessness and fear between partners. It also affects relationship with family members, friends, as well as at work place. Failing to communicate on a regular basis can cause people in a relationship to feel less connected to one another.
  6. Separation: One of the most important aspects of a successful relationship is effective communication between both parties. Lack of communication in a relationship can result in hasty decisions that can even lead to separation. We need to understand the reasons behind communication breakdown and how they can be avoided to ensure a fulfilling relationship.
  7. Children: Lack of communication can even affect children. It is not a good idea to get the children involved in all these whirlpool.

Open communication happens when there is love, respect and mutual understanding in the relationship. Do not take your spouse for granted. Many times we forget to say those three magical words, ‘I love you’. Share your worries with each other, stand by your spouse in all his/her endeavours, and support your spouse.

If the issues are not fixed in time, the lack of communication eventually it leads to separation. So express yourself to your partner, talk about the problems in your life, share your deepest fears and secrets with each other, and cherish the best moments of life together. It will make you come closer and will make you bond stronger. So before you criticize your spouse and say that he/she speaks to you loudly (literally screams), evaluate if it is because of you.

You are probably not being attentive or listening what your spouse says, which makes them raise their voice. If that is the case, you are at fault and you cannot point fingers saying “You scream and shout causing the argument. I am usually quite.”

Causes of Lack of Communication: Part II

Continued from Causes of Lack of Communication: Part I

  • Birth of baby: When both a young couple become parents for the first time, they are overwhelmed with the sudden set of responsibilities showered on them. Hence, birth of the first baby can sometimes cause lapse of communication between the couple. The mother has to give more time to the baby and is always tried. The father has to spend time helping out at night, causing burnout during day time. As a result the couple barely get time or chance to sit and talk peacefully. They can, but it takes a little bit of flexibility, planning, and effort.When they talk there are more complaints, problems, and disagreements to talk about. They end up arguing over trivial issues such as what the baby needs and who will take on what responsibilities. When things get out of control they stop their communication altogether and become withdrawn. Again, I would like to add that maturity, understanding, and concern plays a big role in situations as this.
  • Lack of love: When you are no longer in love with your spouse, you probably are not interested in communicating as well. If you find yourself not in love with your partner, ask yourself what are the reasons. Is it because you have found someone else? If yes, it is probably time to move on rather than stay in a stale, unhappy, and troubling relationship. If not, try to find the love that you two once shared. Give it a chance rather than walking away from it.
  • Ego: Ego sprouts problems and arguments between spouses. This in turn affects the communication between them. When the lines of communication fail, both you and your partner will stop discussing about your mutual or personal issues.  Learn to accept each other’s opinions and focus on the similarities that you two share when you argue.Some couples can sit in a room and not say a word to each other for hours—this is because they are grounded in the foundation of their love. But if you feel that the lack of constant conversation is hurting your relationship, take the initiative.Good and open communication is essential in the relationship of a husband and wife to ensure that both partners understand each other. So, whenever there is some problem in a marriage, it becomes important for the partners to communicate properly and should never choose the silent path, as it might lead the path towards the court.
  • Fear of anger: When there is a distrust and ego in a relationship, there is fear of dirty, angry verbal exchange. This is another factor that causes lack of direct communication. Most of the human beings back off from a fight because they fear it, causing lack of communication. The essential ingrediant of problem solving is open communication. But fear of anger or inacceptance may not allow you to do so. But you need to know that relationships can only exist only if you have the habit of resolving differences.
  • Nagging/embarrassing:Nagging and embarrassing are two different things. But then, both of them result in one thing—your spouse may not want to listen to you. From personal experience, I would like to say there will barely be any communication if you are always nagging and blaming your partner for everything wrong that happens. You should also ensure not to embarrass your spouse for the heck of doing it. As a result, they may not want to listen to you because they know what you are going to say and in which track your discussion is going to go.

Ram worked in a senior position in a well-known firm. He was good at his work, but apart from that he was disinterested in any other activities. On the other hand, Roshini, his wife, who also worked in a good position in an organization, had diverse hobbies. She was a voracious reader, an excellent cook, a good painter, and a wonderful dancer. Roshini not only balanced her work life and personal life very well, but also took care of her son’s studies herself.Every one appreciated her talent and some women also named her to be their role model.

Ram was jealous of his the appreciation his wife enjoyed. Since he was not interested in actually doing anything to gain some appreciation himself, he started taunting and embarrassing Roshini in the presence of their friends. Ram would say things like, “Roshini is so busy that she gets time to have bath only once a week.”

Things reached to such a level that Ram actually began enjoying the insults he showered on Roshini. He felt good about it. He started displaying this behavior even without an audience. Ram does not realize that by insulting his wife in public, he was displaying his upbringing, his behavior, and his character (or lack of it) in public.  On the other hand, Roshini initially ignored this behavior, but when it reached a point when the topic of discussion reached a personal level she began to resent it. She initially asked Ram to stop such talks. When he did not, and stated doing it frequently, she slowly stopped communicating with Ram.

This case is basically about respecting your spouse. Here Ram is disrespecting your spouse because he is unsure about himself and is incapable.  Roshini had a valid reason to disrespect Ram. He has been displaying and showing all the behavior to earn disrespect. Be true to yourself, does nagging/ embarrassing really help you other than feed your already bloated ego?Before you start looking out for defects in your partner, you must first take a stock yourself. You have problems, issues, and drawbacks just like everyone else does. Your relationships will go far if you will stop pointing out the minor and insignificant things about your spouse, especially in front of friends and relatives.

  • Distance: Distance results in lack of communication and eventually total breakdown of communication. This happens when you don’t live together for a long time. If your partner has to live somewhere else due to work factors, make sure you two talk on a regular basis and meet often. Never let distance come in the way of your love. Though long distant relationships are hard to manage, stick with it no matter what happens. Once you have a made a decision, stick by it and try to make it work.

 You may presume silence as dignity and being in control. But, silence is the killer of a relationship. Infact, it does not even allow a relationship to be formed. So it is very important to know the cause of lack of communication and try to fix it. No, if a person is not interested in accepting that is a problem in him/her and does not want to fix the problem, it is an another issue altogether.

Like any good thing in life you need to work on all the aspects of a relationship to make it work. It is not easy, but if you need to do it, not for the others, but for you.

Causes of Lack of Communication: Part I

In any relat­i­o­n­shi­p, silence­ whether it is intentionally or unintentionally, is a si­gn­ o­f­ f­ault­y co­mmun­i­cat­i­o­n­. Infact, it is a danger signal that you need to heed to on an immediate basis. Communication in a marriage does not mean agreeing with each other. It means talking and/or discussing about anything and everything—day-to-day happenings, children, problems, issues, house, interiors, family, and in short, any topic under the sun. Communication is very important in for sustaining a relationship.

Not conveying proper feeling, inappropriate facial expressions, and saying things that hurt the partner can destroy any relationship (professional and/or personal). Leaving out essential/important details in your communication, not listening actively, not saying the right thing, and saying the wrong things, prevent you from being able to properly communicate, affecting the relationship.

You may do more talking and have forgotten about listening. You may feel that you are always correct and the other person is always wrong. You may not do any self analysis or self-criticism but continuously criticize your partner. You rarely hear what people are are saying to you and don’t put in effort to try to change what has disturbed or wounded them. As a result of this, you end up not communicating with your partner. There can be one or more reasons for lack of communication. Some of the causes for lack of communication are as follows:

  • Broken family: People who grow up in families that communicated grow up to be naturally good communicators and are cooperative in nature. They have seen their parents do it and inculcate the behavior. Hence they usually try to immediately fix any issues that arise in their marriage. But some unlucky souls do not get the opportunity to grow in a well-knit family and do not learn those skills as youngsters. Some of them continue with the same behavior in their own marriage.

A few of them understand the problems caused by such surroundings/environment and try to avoid it in their own marriage. They try to rectify the factors that caused problems in their parent’s relationship. This is called learning from other’s mistakes and creating a good life for yourself and your family. A few others live in self denial. They feel, “This is what I have been through and so this is how I will be.” Adults have to be mature enough to understand what is important for them, their families, and their kids.

  • Stress at work:We all know that stress of work makes a person easily irritated, withdrawn, and reserved. Earlier, men used to be the bread winner and women looked after the homely duties. So if men had work related stress, women used to be the calming factor for them.  If one of the partner is stressed, the other is in a situation to help listen to the problem and may be solve it too. It is another thing that in many cases, men don’t want to seem vulnerable and hence don’t like to discuss problems with their partners.But now, there are many cases of both the spouses are earning members. For a woman, it is no longer work for additional income, it is about following her dreams in form of a career.  But when both the partners are in such a stressful state, they both may not be in a condition to listen to each other’s problem. In a such a situation, you should be able to understand your spouse’s condition because you are undergoing it yourself. This should make you feel comfortable in openly discussing your issue with your spouse. Matured people will be able to handle such a situation very well.
  • Busy lifestyle: These days women are also career oriented and are individualistic. Both men and women believe in personal space, but too much of space only widens the gap between the spouses. Most couples believe in individualistic activities and get busy with their own separate activities—work, hobbies, children related activities, and friends, among other things. They have a busy life in separate directions and barely find time to communicate with each other.
  • Financial problems: Sometimes, financial problems can also be the cause of communication breakdown between spouses. Men may not want to speak of financial problems/issues as they feel it shows off their failure. Women like to openly discuss it with their respective husbands as they feel it will provide some emotional support to them. It also gives them a good idea about how much control they need to have over the expenses.Unfortunately, when you try to resolve money issues, you may usually end up arguing, which might result in more problems. Eventually you stop discussing other things in an effort to stop discussing finance related matters. Slowly you start hiding your personal and professional problems from your spouse because of the fear that it might irritate them even more. You need to remember that lack of communication is the first baby step towards a failed marriage. Hence, you should assure to keep the communication flow going!
  • Distrust: Sometimes communication breakdown is caused due to mistrust and doubts you may have about the loyalty of your partner. Instead of making any effort of discussing your doubts with them, you probably start observing their actions and reactions. Instead of speaking openly with your partners, you may end up talking to a third person.As a rule, don’t wash your linen in public—try to resolve your problems in marriage yourself, with the help of your partner. Discuss, find out what the issue is, and try to fix it. The third person should not be a friend or relative—it should only be a marriage counselor.
  • No respect:If you are not listening to your partner or if he/she is not listening to you, there IS something seriously wrong. If there is no other reason for this lack of attention, it is usually due to lack of respect. There must be mutual respect in a marriage—you must respect the person that you are married to and your spouse must respect you.If you are in a relationship that lacks respect, it is usually better to end it! But if you want to try, make a list of all the positives and negatives in your spouse. Check if there is any negative you can overlook and/or ignore. Make a comparison of the existing positives and the negatives. If the positives are far more than the negatives (let’s say 10:2), and your non respect is due to one of the 2 factors, go ahead and have a discussion. Tell your spouse that the disrespect causes a major problem for you, but that you want to give a try in maintaining the relationship because his/her positives weigh more than his/her negatives.

continued….

Bloated Ego

All humans come equipped with a certain level of ego. Even infants have ego. Healthy ego, also called self-esteem, is good for one’s well-being and necessary for any relationship. Unhealthy ego (over-blown ego or little ego) causes problems.

Partners with over-blown egos will only think of themselves and having their own needs met in  the relationship. A person with little ego or less self worth will give in to the other partner just to please them. Clash of egos spells D-O-O-M in a relationship. Partners can choose to let or not to let ego affect their married life. In a relationship, you must put ego aside and make the partner and the relationship the priority. Only then will love and respect increase ad flourish between you and your partner.

I remember my mom once said to me, to be able to truly love yourself and to truly be able to love someone else, you must drop your ego. If ego is too strong even in one person, then there is bound to be a lot of problems and issues in the relationship. It depends on the person how he or she wants to deal with the situation. The person has to take effort to understand the situation and  handle it accordingly. A little compromise is required. Else, there is really no point in being in a relationship.

Suraj is a manager in an IT company, married to Sandhya who also works in an IT company. On Sandhya’s first birthday after marriage, Suraj did not wish her. When Sandhya asked Suraj, he said that he never celebrated his birthday before and so he does not feel the need to wish someone else. Sandhya tried to change his attitude, but now, even after 15 years of marriage, he refuses to wish Sandhya or their teenage son on their birthdays!

Suraj had to be mature enough to realize that Sandhya is not “someone else” and that he is a married man. Instead of giving this bloody excuse, two words “Happy birthday” would have made Sandhya’s day instead of spoiling it.

  • Is Suraj’s behavior helping him in any way? NO
  • Does it give him happiness seeing the pain his son goes through when his father does not wish him? Probably
  • Does this behavior earn him a sense of importance from either his wife or son? Definitely not
  • Does this behavior earn him respect from either his wife or son? Definitely not
  • Does this strengthen their relationship? NO
  • Does this show him as “responsible” adult? NO
  • Do people admire him for this behavior? NO. They think there is something wrong with him.

Suraj’s ego does not allow him to agree that he is doing wrong and hence he keeps up with his behavior even though it causes pain to the others. This is what ego does to a person, then to the people around them, and to their relationship. Unfortunately, a highly egoistic person is so blinded that he/she cannot see beyond what they think and they feel that what they think is RIGHT!

If people constantly find problem in your behavior and you end up either defending yourself or not ready to listen, it means there IS a problem with you. You just need to step back, see the situation as an outsider. You will realize that all the problems will be solved if you keep aside your excess your ego, listen carefully to what’s really being said, and use it to correct and/or improve your behaviour.

This will also help in reducing fights between you and your partner. Allowing ego to come in between you and your loved ones, will only ruin your relationship and marriage. An egoistic person can never respect the emotions and feelings of his/her partner. This will hurt their partner’s feelings and eventually the affected partner’s love towards the egoistic person will diminish gradually.

Asking for apology does not mean that you were wrong or that the other person was right. It simply means that your relationship is more valuable to you than your ego!!