8 Dangers of Working From Home to Be Aware Of

Many people think working from home would be idyllic. No more getting up early to make a long commute, no more having to put up with crabby coworkers, no more wardrobe worries. You could make your own hours and have so much more free time. Working from home certainly has its advantages, but there are drawbacks as well. If you’re someone who has an opportunity to work from home for your career, here are 8 dangers of this situation that you should be aware of.

  1. Distractions – You may think working from home would have fewer distractions than a common workplace, but the opposite is often the case, especially when people find out you’re there during the day. The phone rings, people stop by, young children are at home or you notice a neglected household item that either needs to be either fixed or cleaned. The biggest distraction of all is when there is fantastic weather that lures you outdoors. All of these things can make it hard to concentrate on your job.
  2. Time management – All of these distractions can make it hard to manage your time effectively when you work from home. It’s easy to lose track of time when you don’t have a people around to remind you. Since computers and internet are what has made it possible for people to work from home, surfing the web and reading emails can also be big time suckers. It can be difficult to keep focused on the job and not get off track. On the other hand, you can also run the danger of being too focused and not taking a break when you need one.
  3. Self discipline – The key to making your home-based career a success is self discipline. If you’re not able to keep distractions to a limit and manage your time effectively, you’re in danger of not doing very well. Some people are not very self-motivated and need a boss or supervisor to provide the incentives for them to get their work done. Overachievers don’t know when it’s time to quit for the day. These people are not good candidates for working from home.
  4. Confusing priorities – Going to an outside workplace makes it easier to prioritize your duties. You do what needs to be done at work when you’re there and the same goes for when you’re home. Working from home can make setting your priorities a little more difficult. It can be hard to ignore an unfinished home project when you’re there all the time and pretty soon you find it easy to neglect your job. You also run the risk of immersing yourself in work because you never have to go home when you’re already there.
  5. Isolation – Another danger of working from home is the feeling of isolation. People who thrive on social interaction will find it difficult to be on their own for long periods of time. Pretty soon they find themselves missing even the most annoying of their former coworkers. Unless you’re fairly comfortable with spending lots of time with only yourself for company, don’t consider a home-based career.
  6. Out of the loop – Working from home can really make you feel out of the loop. You’re not getting the latest gossip around the water cooler or included in the discussions on local issues. The coworkers who used to include you in their social gatherings don’t think of calling you since you’re no longer around. This just adds to the feeling of isolation and could lead to depression.  
  7. Children – Many people decide to work from home while they have young children to care for. Although this can really save on day care services, it may have drawbacks. Nothing is more demanding than infants and small children. They don’t understand the concept of your career and can make it difficult for you to get any meaningful work done.
  8. Appearance – Working from home can really take its toll on your personal appearance. Since you no longer have to update your wardrobe or look good to impress anyone, you run the risk of really letting yourself go. A fully stocked refrigerator is in the kitchen and snacks aren’t just for coffee breaks any more. Since nobody is going to see you all day, why even bother getting out of your bathrobe?

Whether you are a remote worker or self-employed, working from home is a great option to have, but not without some perils. It’s important to look at the pro’s and con’s before making a commitment. Look carefully at your personal situation and character to see if you have the self-determination to make it work. Also be sure to give yourself some time to adjust to the freedom a home-based career provides.

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