5 Disadvantages of Working from Home

Working from home offers tremendous freedom.  You can wear casual clothes (or even your pajamas, some days), create your schedule based on your and your family’s needs, and choose which jobs to accept and which to decline, among many other benefits.

However, as with any job, there are also drawbacks to working from home, which shouldn’t be discounted or minimized.  For some people, these drawbacks are big enough that they return to a traditional work environment after attempting to working at home.

Easy to Procrastinate

When you work at a brick and mortar company, you’re expected to achieve a certain level of work, and if you don’t, your boss will soon know about it.  When you work from home, you must be self-motivated.  For some this is not a problem, but for others, if they don’t have the pressure to get the job done, they don’t.  There’s no faster way to ruin your work at home business than not completing your work on time.

Frequent Distractions

In addition to being self-motivated, you’ll also need to be firm about avoiding distractions.  For instance, you may sit down to work and find yourself stopping to start a load of laundry, or do the dishes, or take the dog for a walk.  All of these little distractions can eat up a large portion of your day, resulting in less billable work time.

No Social Camaraderie

One benefit of working at a brick and mortar company that many people don’t realize they’ll miss when working from home is the social camaraderie.  At a traditional job, you may eat lunch with your coworkers, have quick chats about office politics or even the most recent episode of your favorite T.V. show.  These conversations are often spontaneous and fun.  When you work from home, you are often all by yourself, which can make some people lonely and long for those quick chats with coworkers.

No Benefits

Benefits are something you take for granted at a traditional job.  Sure, you might be able to join your spouse’s health insurance when you work from home, so there may not be a downside there.  However, if you’re used to an employer who gives you sick days and vacation days, you’ll likely miss those benefits.  When you work from home and you want to take a vacation, you’ll either need to arrange with your clients to skip a week of work, or you’ll need to do all of your work for that week ahead of time, which can be exhausting. 

In addition, if you have an employer who matches part of your retirement savings, you’ll likely notice the loss of that benefit.  When I worked a traditional job, my employer matched my retirement savings up to 8% of my salary, and I was so sad to lose that “free” retirement money.

Boundaries Are Difficult to Create

When you work at home, you’re work is always there with you.  You may feel yourself working during family time because you have trouble creating boundaries when work and family share the same physical space.  This is often one of the biggest challenges when you work at home because you feel like when you’re working, you should be cleaning or spending time with family, and when you’re with family or doing chores, you feel like you should be doing work.

Working from home can be a fabulous opportunity for a woman, but there are drawbacks.  If you’ve not yet started your work from home journey, make sure that you have a plan for handling these potential difficulties.

What do you think are the biggest drawbacks to working from home?

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