Many people believe that working from home is a luxury. Yes, you don’t have to make the commute every day, and yes, you don’t have to deal with those annoying co-workers, but while working from home may save you from the boredom of your cubicle, it still poses the following challenges.
1. Communication Barriers
If you work in an office, and you need to ask a coworker a question, you can simply walk to their office, pop your head in, and get your answer. When you work from home, you rely on other forms of communication, such as email, phone and/or social media. While these are all great ways to communicate, you can end up playing phone tag or waiting all day for an email response. This is fine when the answer you need is not time-sensitive, but it can be extremely frustrating if your deadline is fast approaching and you have a question about an important aspect of the project.
There are distractions at the workplace, but there are more at home. Those dishes piling up could be driving you crazy. Your dog could be begging you to go for a walk. Your bed is also a short distance away, and would anyone really notice if you took a quick nap?
While you are working in an office, you can focus solely on doing your job. Aside from your co-worker’s drama, there is nothing there to distract you for the entire day like that to-do list around the house.
3. Allocating time appropriately.
If you work from home with a lax schedule, it can be hard to allocate time to complete your work. Maybe you have errands to run during the day that need to be done while the stores are open. Then when you get home, you have to make dinner, and after dinner, you have to help kids with homework. By the time you’re ready to start working for the day, the day is long gone.
4. Lack of social interaction.
Sure you are working in the comfort of your own home, but working by yourself can be depressing. We all enjoy taking that five minute break to talk about last night’s game or discuss social happenings with our coworkers. We get to know each other and build a rapport, and having an adult conversation, no matter how trivial it may be, is good for our social lives. When you work from home, you miss out on that social interaction. You don’t talk to anyone face to face, and you’re left out of the “goings ons” at the office. Plus, think of all those tasty treats you’re missing at those impromptu office parties.
While working from home does have its benefits, it also has its challenges. If you have the choice to work at the office or work from home, consider the pros and cons of both. Working from home may be the gig for you, or maybe you would be more productive in the office.
About the Author: Hillary Fox is a marketing major at the University of Texas with a passion for writing on the side. She is a proud advocate of dining on quick and easy freezer meals. Hillary cannot cook.