While working from home has many benefits, it also has several disadvantages. It’s advantageous for those who have young kids and would prefer to save money on childminding services. It’s also beneficial as it may be seen as more productive due to less commute times and less distractions from coworkers.
On the other hand, here are some of the disadvantages associated with working from home and how you can work around them or use them to your advantage:
More organisation time required
If you’re a sole entrepreneur working from home, you may find that it’s up to you to organise everything in your work life. Yes, everything. From finding clients and lining up work to managing finances and all the other behind-the-scenes tasks that may be assigned to someone else in a normal 9-5 job, everything is yours to manage.
This includes keeping yourself on task and ensuring that you complete work on time. If you’re behind, you may need to forgo breaks or work long into the night to get it all done. On a long-term basis, this is not healthy and can lead to a drop in performance.
On the upside, organising everything yourself means that you have control over your work life. You can decide which clients to work for and when, as well as choose your own work hours—having excellent time management skills comes in great use to ensure a good work/life balance.
Social interactions are limited
Working from home means that you’ll be working in a space where it is just you. While this may seem more freeing at first, it is all too easy to fall into the habit of working and staying home rather than socialising. Over time, this can lead to stress and health issues, both mental and physical, and can severely impact your work performance.
Humans are social animals and need regular healthy interactions with others to be in the best form possible. A great way to be in the company of others while at the same time having your own space is coworking. By working alongside other link-minded people, this type of office space offers a friendly ambiance while meeting important social needs, allowing for a fuller life and better focus on work. It is also a great way to network and create good professional relationships, something harder to do over the phone or by email.
Switching off from work is more difficult
When your living space and workspace are the same, it can be difficult to switch from one to the other, even if you have set work hours. Work can spread and fill, resulting in your time off being spent thinking about work.
Studies show that moods and thought patterns can change based on location and associating your home with your work can result in the two behaviour patterns merging. This can cause distractions while working and limit relaxation when not.
The build-up of stress this causes can further impact work performance. Having a separate work space can reinforce healthy behaviours and allows for a clear distinction between work and home.
Working from home limits the amount of collaboration in your work days. Input from team members, coworkers, mentors and others can be vital in producing the best standard of work possible. Having someone to discuss work with or a team member to take the load off at a crucial moment can be essential to finishing a job on time and can even produce results that you would never have managed alone.
Working from home has both advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to educate yourself on both to ensure that you make the best possible choice when it comes to deciding on what kind of work environment you’re going to do business from.