We have all heard why it can be so great to be able to work from home, on your own schedule. There is no question that there are a lot of benefits of working remote, but there can be another side of the coin, as well. Do managers and business founders find prevalent disadvantages when they hire people who work remote?
Here are the top disadvantages of working from home:
1. Lack of Community
It can be hard to develop a true working relationship when you’re only communicating over email or see different teammates in a weekly video chat. As a result, collaboration can suffer.
It may be different if you are working as a solopreneur and are freelancing. But if you are working remote for a corporation, a lack of cohesiveness can turn into not truly feeling like part of the team. This can lead to coworkers feeling jealous that you work remote and they are not.
It’s no secret that if you are a social person who likes to be outgoing and a part of a community, working from home may end up making you feel isolated.
You aren’t talking to as many people during your day. Colleagues aren’t stopping by your office unannounced and you’re probably not having as many lunches out of the office (your home) with coworkers.
While you are avoiding the office politics, you are also missing out on social connections that the office life can bring. Working from home means you may find yourself not really needing to leave your home for days at a time.
3. Lack of Collaboration
Sometimes it’s more beneficial to have everybody in a big room together to hash out projects and get goals moving forward. And when half of a team works remote, it’s hard to make those things happen. Even with video conferences, it’s not the same as being able to communicate face-to-face and have someone’s undivided attention.
You don’t have a coworker next to you that you can head over to and ask a quick question. Everything takes more time to move forward remotely, whether it’s because you must work harder to get ahold of someone, or you have to wait for a reply to an email. This can make it easier for information to slip through cracks.
4. Remaining Accountable and Productive
When you’re working from home, there is no doubt that there are many personal temptations that you may face during the day. Housework, prepping dinner, or getting caught in a TV show can suddenly mess up the entire plan for your day. Is your personality up for the task of staying accountable to your team back in the office? Are you a self-starter and responsible?
Discipline and maintaining a routine are the keys to your success when you work from home. It can easily spiral out of control if you start falling behind on being accountable. Management and coworkers aren’t able to have oversight into what you are specifically doing during the day, nor can they pop in your office to check on the timetable of a project.
5. Security Concerns
Working remote can be hard when it comes to making sure that all of your company and client information remains secure. Especially if you deal regularly with sensitive data.
Transferring money online can be another security concern, although there are numerous websites and apps that help to keep your data security intact.
You also want to make sure that hacking isn’t a concern for data theft of the information you are working on. These are all important reasons many businesses require the use of password managers or VPN’s that produce secure access to a remote computer over the Internet.
6. Job Security
It can be hard to move up as easily when your face isn’t in the mix on a daily basis in the office.
If you work as a freelancer, this also may mean that you don’t have the extra layer of security that a company environment can provide. Things like health insurance and retirement plans that are partly funded by employers aren’t something that you have the luxury of participating in. Freelancers also aren’t protected by labor laws or entitled to things like overtime pay, worker’s comp, or vacation benefits. Looking to take part in some professional development? It will now be on your own dime, instead of being paid for through an employer.
You also will be working for that dollar, meaning that the stability of a regular paycheck may not be part of the equation when you branch out on your own and become a freelancer. It’s something to think about!
Overall, it’s easy to think that working from home will be all sunshine and roses. And there are impressive benefits like the flexibility and work-life balance that are wonderful. But in reality, there are some major trade-offs to consider for this flexibility. Now that you know what some of the major challenges are, you can work to enjoy those work-from-home amenities while understanding what you have to do to cover the work you are expected to complete.