According to a Gallup study released earlier this year, the number of people who work from home four to five days a rose from 24 to 31 percent between 2012 and 2016. That’s because telecommuting and remote working is on the rise in many industries. Which is awesome since working at home is a super cushy and relaxing way to get the job done, right? Eh, not exactly.
We have it on good authority that there are plenty of drawbacks to working from home. Having your office conveniently set up at your kitchen table sounds pretty cool (and it can be, at times), however there are quite a few surprising challenges of working from home that can easily put a damper on the fact that you knocked out a mountain of tasks while wearing a sports bra, some yoga pants, and an aloe vera mask.
Fact is, remote employees don’t get paid to spend all day with their feet kicked up, crossing off work-related tasks in between episodes of their favorite Netflix series.
In reality, people who work from must be self-starters who can seriously hustle, despite facing a unique set of unexpected challenges that come with telecommuting.
In the middle of the work day, people who work at home might look around and find themselves actually longing for someone to chat with. When your home is your office, there’s no one to swap work stories with (your pets just can’t understand). Over time, you might find yourself longing for those company-sponsored outings and team-building activities that help onsite workers relax, socialize, and bond.
2You develop cabin fever.
Remember those days when you finished working and couldn’t wait to get out of the office and into the comfort of your home? Well, working from home feels the same way, except in reverse. Now that your house is the workplace, you will literally find any excuse to go outside, and you just might lose it if that doesn’t happen often enough.
3Not taking enough breaks.
Since no one’s looking over your shoulder to invite you to the break room for a 15-minute breather, it’s easy to slip into the awful habit of working without stopping for a break. It’s one of the fastest ways to burnout, so those who work from home have to resist the urge to power through their entire work day without taking time out to eat, stretch, or just step away from the computer for a brief moment.
4Dealing with friends and family who don’t think you’re working.
A common complaint from people who work from home is that their relatives and friends just don’t get it. No matter how many times you say, “I’m working,” they can only see that you’re at home, which must mean you’re available to take lengthy personal phone calls, pick up after the kids, go on extended lunch breaks, or go for walks in the park.
5Staying focused on your work.
It’s funny how the moment you sit down in front of your laptop to get to work, you’re tempted to wash dishes, do laundry, vacuum and restore order to your house you’ve completely neglected until now. Oh, and you also really want to watch Netflix. Like, couldn’t you? The TV is just sitting there waiting for an audience.
6Working too much.
As a remote worker, the lines between life and work can quickly go from blurry to completely non-existent. The problem is working from home makes you a pro at hitting the proverbial “on” switch that instantly transforms you from a couch potato into an employee. Being able to shift into work mode at home is a great thing…until you find yourself sneaking back into your office after hours or agreeing to take on an extra assignment because you’re already in your work space.
7Taking time off.
Despite the fact that you still have daily tasks and a paycheck to show for it, it can be hard for those who perform their jobs from home to free themselves from the conditioning that telecommuting doesn’t really count as work.
Working from home can be downright agonizing if you haven’t learned to mentally divide your home and professional boundaries. It can easily begin to feel like you traded one set of job stresses for another. But hopefully the advantages of telecommuting can motivate you to be on your best employee behavior, even without the structure that a traditional workplace provides.