In a previous article, I gave you 5 good reasons why working from home is heaven. Unfortunately, there isn’t only good to working at home. In some instances, you might end up envying those people who work from 9-5. Although I am convinced having a home office is the greatest, there are drawbacks that will prove otherwise. Here’s a list of 5 reasons why working from home is hell:
It’s easy to feel isolated when you work from home all day, especially if you work alone. No more colleagues to discuss with; you are with yourself all day and there’s no one to talk to. Isolation can lead to feelings of depression, sadness and lack of motivation.
Loneliness can be overcome by going out after your working shift or by taking several breaks during the day to reconnect with the world. In the end though, home office is usually synonym of solitude, so if you hate working alone perhaps it is not the right solution for you.
Lack of motivation and discipline
Working from home means you probably won’t have a boss looking over your shoulder all the time to see your progress. Slacking off for lack of self-discipline and motivation is a danger always lurking when you are freelancing. That’s why you will have to come up with methods to keep you on the right track, working first and playing after (or perhaps in the reverse order, as I usually tend to do).
For me, what works to keep motivation flowing is to have a to-do list with Wunderlist that I can look at every now and then in my browser to see my progress and check the tasks I’ve completed. I also have a handmade poster on my wall on which are written the words “discipline, always.” Every time I look up, it’s there, staring at me. Telling me I should be working. It works… most of the time!
Home office is synonym of constant distractions. Whether it’s family or social media, it’s always there, taunting you to stop working and focus on something else entirely. Those distractions you face when you are working by yourself from home can affect greatly your productivity and result in overdue projects and/or slowness.
I am a living example that distractions can be detrimental: as I was writing this article, I stopped at least 3 to 4 times to look at Tweetdeck, Facebook, MSN Messenger and I stood up twice to see what Emilio was cooking (this spinach pasta ought to be delicious, I can smell it!). Instead of taking me 30-40 minutes, this simple blog article is taking me an hour to write.
Working from home will be, if you are like me, a constant fight against yourself. I have the attention span of a goldfish and the internet is full of sweet promises… But work prevails. Remember it and make it your motto. Write it on your wall, design a wallpaper about it, write it on your hands… Remember it, live by it and you will succeed.
Not knowing when to stop
When you work from home, it’s tough to stop working, especially when you have a big workload. Taking an afternoon off can result in guilt, even if you worked 5 days prior to this small break. Some freelancers and entrepreneurs resolve this issue by setting up a schedule they stick to. I’m personally all over the place, deciding to take breaks when I can afford to (or when I feel like it).
Keep in mind that you’re a human being and you need to relax once in a while. Give yourself at least one day off per week, work no more than 8 hours a day if you can. Consider your health as, without it, you won’t be able to work either way. Balance life and work, don’t become a workaholic. How will you enjoy your success if you’re sick and tired?
House or workplace?
One risk associated with home office is not being able to draw the line between what is your house and what is your office. Some people will be sickened just by looking at their desk and computer as they will associate with work. Others will find that spending all this time at home affects their morale. There is no cure to this feeling, except perhaps moving your office from your house to a cafe, library or another quiet place where you can work and have a change of scenery. I personally enjoy looking at my desktop all day and there is no cafe in the world that will charm me enough for me to work there. But we’re all different, are we not? One (wo)man’s hell is another’s heaven.
You liked this article? Take a look at 5 reasons why working at home is heaven.