There are a ton of advantages and disadvantages to working from home. Working from home affords us the ability to avoid commuting, to work from the comfort of our home office, and to save on gas. However, by working from home, we miss out on the benefits of relationship building and perhaps even career growth.
We’ve all dreamed of being able to get paid for not doing any work. Waking up with nothing to do and receiving a paycheck every two-weeks sounds like a dream. For many people, working-from-home may just be the second-best option.
But there are a plethora of disadvantages to working from home. Whether it’s a permanent work from home situation, or a couple of times a week, working from home may be hurting your career in more ways than you think.
Most companies are just now coming to grips with a new working reality. For many of their employees, coming into the office day-after-day may no longer be needed or necessary. With telecommuting options and an endless array of options for keeping in communication, the question of whether or not we need to go into the office becomes a tricky one.
But there are clear disadvantages to not going into the office. We’ve listed the top ten common reasons below:
Lack of Visibility
Perhaps the single greatest disadvantage to working from home is that you begin to lack the visibility that your colleagues who are in the office are getting. While you may be able to exceed their output, the mere fact that they’re in the office helps them tremendously.
A lot of executives still expect their employees to come into the office. They look to see who is the first-in and the last-out. And while it may not necessarily be true that being in the office equates to higher output and productivity, many executives don’t have much else to base their employees on.
In addition, coming into the office allows you to meet with and build rapport with those who are in more senior positions. By working from home, you rob yourself of that advantage.
A Lack of Community
Although your productivity from home may be greater than when you are in the office, you lose out on building relationships and networking with your team. By being in the office, you build relations and rapport that cannot be done over instant messaging platforms. Being in the office helps build camaraderie and a feeling of unison amongst colleagues.
Companies are growing more-and-more cautious with their internal files. With well-known data hacks and breaches occurring, the safest way to keep data out of the hands of criminals is to have it secured behind the company’s firewall. By allowing employees to work from home, companies risk that they connect to unsecured network. This risk could potentially affect all company hardware and software.
Difficulty With Communication
While we touched on the fact that there are a plethora of communication software’s out there that can help to connect team’s, there is simply nothing better than face-to-face communication. Communicating via these software’s leaves an impersonal feeling and may lead to confusion around tone.
The office definitely has a more work-oriented appeal to it than the home does. And that only makes sense. By working from home, you may get distracted with cleaning, cooking, or taking a power nap. In addition, by being home, you may lose some willpower that you otherwise would have. Your home is your source of comfort and it may be difficult to differ between the two when you need to work.
Missing Important Messages or Meetings
When you’re at home, you may put your phone on do not disturb or you may step away from your computer quickly. Doing so could lead to your missing a few pings from your manager or an important meeting.
While we never recommend working from home unless you have a fast and reliable connection, you can’t always rely that it will work when needed. When working from home you could lose power or connectivity and not have any recourse until it is fixed.
So Many Distractions
When you’re home, you’re in a relaxed and comfortable mode. You may begin to run some errands or decide to take the dog for a walk.
While miniscule at the time, these distractions can add up until you’re flooded with work you didn’t get to.
Access to Technology and Software
While most companies try and have all the necessary software on their employees’ laptops, there may be some that are only at the office. By working from home, you lose out on that access for the day and won’t be as productive.
Feelings of Resentment
While this one is definitely misplaced, it’s a truth that we should discuss. Your working from home arraignment may cause levels of resentment and distrust amongst colleagues. They may think you’re slacking off and not being productive and may be less likely to help you if needed.
So, What Can You Do?
If you and your manager agree to letting you work from home, then you need to set clear and understandable expectations from the get-go. Discuss the hours, what time you will be taking lunch, and how you will keep in communication.
Review these notes periodically and see if the arraignment is working for both of you. This should help you to avoid any potential issues.