5 Disadvantages of working from home

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There are many advantages associated with working from home – no need to travel to the office, the ability to work anywhere, and greater flexibility than a traditional work environment. There are however limitations of being entirely remote – this article explores five of the main disadvantages associated with working from home. 

Disadvantage 1: Lack of social interactions

The first disadvantage of working from home is that you don’t have the social interactions of a traditional office environment. Rather than seeing your colleagues every day, and getting to know them throughout your workweek, you may never meet the people that you are working with. Social interactions in work can be a big source of support. Being able to speak to colleagues and share the issues that you are facing can help you resolve them, and appreciate that you are not alone in facing such challenges. While video call may be a substitute for some issues, for others, it can be difficult to schedule a meeting to talk about the issue that you are facing.

The lack of social interaction from working from home can be particularly impactful for people who live alone. Getting up, and working alone, day after day, can start to take its toll. 

Disadvantage 2: Not as easy to identify which colleague to ask for help

Another challenge with not getting to know your colleagues face-to-face is that it can be more difficult to know who to reach out to in order to discuss issues that you are facing. In a traditional office environment, you likely will get to know everyone over time, becoming familiar through general socialization. When you have not met a larger number of people in your team, however, it can be more challenging to know the role that everyone does, and in turn, more challenging to know who to speak to with challenges that you may be facing. 

Disadvantage 3: Distractions

Working from home also has the issue that you may have a substantial amount of distractions that can impact your ability to concentrate on your work. Having the television on in the background, or others asking you for help around the house are new challenges that you can run into when working remotely. 

Disadvantage 4: Difficulty switching off after work

The lack of boundaries between work and home can also make it difficult to switch off after work. When you work in an office it may be clear when it is work time and when it is home time. When you work remotely, these boundaries blur – you may have your laptop out in the evening, checking company email, and the ability to step away from work is more difficult.

Disadvantage 5: Perception that you are always working

A connected disadvantage of working from home is the perception that you are always working. While there are clear delineations between work and office in a traditional office environment, these start to blur into one another when working remotely.  While you may not expect a call from your colleague late at night if you are in a traditional office, the boundaries are slightly broken if you are working from home, and calling (or receiving a call) late at night may be more expected.