Working from home may seem like a dream scenario to most people, but as millions of self-employed individuals have discovered, it isn’t always everything it’s hyped up to be.
For all the benefits that come with this setup, there are also a few risks.
5 Unspoken Disadvantages You May Encounter
If working from home is in your future, you need to understand what’s included. There are lots of advantages that come with working where you live, but don’t be blind to the risks.
1. Working 24/7/365
“Working from home allows you to be flexible in your schedule, cuts out any commute time and means you can run back in to ‘the office’ if you forgot something that just can’t wait till the next day,” says Garrett Sutton of Corporate Direct. “Just don’t fall prey to the 24/7 aspect of working where you live – just because you’re awake doesn’t mean you have to be working.”
Sutton brings up a relevant problem that ambitious professionals often face. Because it’s always there, it’s easy to work nonstop. This leads to job fatigue and is ultimately unhealthy in terms of work-life balance.
2. Unexpected Interruptions
Regardless of where you work, you face numerous distractions on a daily basis. Email is one such interruption. No matter where you are, email is making you less productive. But when you work from home, you face a number of additional distractions that simply don’t exist in the traditional office.
Some of the biggest problems are unexpected interruptions. These could come in the form of your children getting in a fight, a neighbor swinging by for a midday chat, or an emergency home maintenance situation that pops up out of nowhere. Whatever the case may be, they distract you from work, costing you in terms of productivity and output.
3. Lack of Structure and Oversight
If you aren’t an overly disciplined person, you’re probably going to struggle with the sudden lack of structure and oversight that you experience when working from home. Instead of having a boss hovering over your shoulder or a project manager checking that you’re on track, you’re on your own for most of the day. This is dangerous for some people.
One issue people don’t always prepare for is the loneliness that comes from working by yourself. This is an especially pervasive problem for extroverted personalities who thrive on interactions with others.
“Attitude is everything, and when you’re a solopreneur, it can sometimes be tough not to have anyone around to lift you out of a bad mood,” entrepreneur Matthew Anderson notes. “Pay close attention to your mindset throughout the day, and if you feel yourself losing your positivity, take a ‘mood break’ and find a way to get it back.”
5. Lack of Personal Hygiene
When you work from home, suddenly it’s okay to roll out of bed and start working in your pajamas. Before you know it, you aren’t showering, shaving, putting on makeup, or doing other things that normal people do before heading into the office. This may seem humorous, but it’s easy to fall into a cycle of neglecting these basic personal hygiene needs.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
This article isn’t meant to dissuade you from working from home. It’s a wonderful option that’s flexible and convenient. But before you dive headfirst into this progressive style of work, make sure you’re prepared for some of the risks that you could encounter.
Anna Johansson is the founder and CEO of Johansson Consulting where she works with businesses to create marketing and PR campaigns.