A few years ago, I found myself disenchanted and tired of my office job–the quintessential 9-to-5–and I finally realized time was drifting by with almost nothing to show for it. Fast forward to today and I now work from home, with more flexibility in my work schedule, more free time to pursue my other interests. But most importantly, for me, I am enjoying my work. It no longer feels like a chore or an obligation; instead, I now feel like my skills are useful and I can really make a positive difference for my clients.
There are, however, a few downsides to working from home (although they aren’t as detrimental as what I was experiencing while working in an office). Here are a few of the downsides of working from home I have experienced.
Lack of motivation
I feel this really differs from person to person, but without colleagues around you or a boss in the same building, this aspect of motivation is lost. Granted, other motivations such as potentially higher pay and finishing projects early come into play. But the lack of motivation associated with a workplace can be quite difficult to overcome, at least during the first few months.
The feeling of always being at work
Most people try to draw the line between work and home, and understandably so. Taking work home is not ideal, especially if you have a family and work becomes a further distraction. But when your home is your workplace, this can be even more difficult.
If possible, create a dedicated, distraction-free workspace in your home. Set some rules that mean you treat it like a workplace such as no logging into social media or televisions allowed. This should help you create boundaries, in turn allowing you to leave work mode once you are finished.
You may not have the necessary infrastructure
Unlike purpose-built offices, you are unlikely to have high-speed internet, in-house IT support, or meeting rooms within your home. Occasionally, you may be required to partake in a meeting, possibly through a conference call or in person, which may not be possible from home.
A solution to this would be to book a meeting room from various pay-by-the-hour office/meeting space providers. This is extremely easy to organise as long as you are able to access such a space, which are fairly common in big cities. Bookings can be made online and appear on the in-house conference room scheduling display systems, making it easy to track and find your rooms, and check attendees.
Linked to the feeling of always being at work, you may have difficulty sleeping once you begin to associate your home with work. Don’t work where you sleep: have your computer outside your room and don’t use it within an hour of going to bed. Dedicate your room solely to sleeping.
Overall, at least personally, the benefits of working from home vastly outnumber the disadvantages. If you are able to balance the space between work and home, I absolutely feel that working from home is more productive. However, you should always be aware of these pitfalls while doing so.