10 Reasons Not To Work From Home - What Do You Think?
Here are 10 reasons not to work at home. We'll address the benefits of working home in another post. The list is in no particular order and by no means complete.
For some people, working at home is too "Homey". They simply can't work when they are at home. personally, I work in my basement office without windows, fully focused on work. I have never been able to work at home with windows all around me. I just pine to get out there and go have fun. How about you? Can you work at home? What kind of home office do you have?
Children Interfering When Working From Home
I would never have been working at home in the days when our children were still at home. Some people can, kudos to them, but I simply get too distraceted. I have tried everything from locking the office door, to putting signs up that says "Pappi at work, Don't Disturb", but to no avail. Unless you live in such a big house, with a separate office wing, far a way from the kids, it will be a challenge to keep them out. partially because sometimes you don't want to keep them out, they are too adorable, well that becomes a "work problem" of course. Good luck balancing that.
Working From Home with a Spouse At Home
As with your children it is very diffeicult to work at home with the spouse at home as well, especially if he/she does not have a job for a third party, i.e. her job is Wife, Mother, Husband, father and/or Head of Household etc. Working at home seems to take away the barrier of entry to walking into the home office, while one's in the middle of a meeting, asking to unscrew the tomato jar....!? Of course even if the spouse is away shopping, today's technology is such that if the spouse or child needs shopping advice and does not get a response via text within 10 seconds, all hell brakes loose. You need to be an NFL quarterback, MLB Pitcher or Formula One driver to block out all the noise and focus on your work consistently.
More Freedom - Lack of Oversight When Working From Home
Depending on who you work for, their routine, or if you are self-employed your objective, and focus to reach objectives, the freedom to work from home can be very tempting. As a European I grew up with the culture to "Work to Live", rather than "Live to Work". So, it is engrained in me to take breaks and live life a little. The pandemic has forced a large part of the population to be introduced to that side of work/life balance, or imbalance depending on who you talk to. All in all, the extra freedom you get when working from home can be too much for people, those who need the office discipline.
Reduced People Interaction When Working From Home
For most people it is very difficult to work from home, not seeing their colleagues, not being able to gossip at the coffee machine, not being able to crack jokes.
It is a tough one, and as with everything in life, some people handle to "isolation" better than others. Although I love working from home in relative solitude, finally I get stuff done, I did create a routine from the get-go to "run errands" at least twice a day. I would go out for 1 bag of sugar in the morning and one tin of coffee in the afternoon, just to be able to see the real world, see people, even though initially everyone was wearing masks. Just the drive, especially on a sunny day would re-energize me. Before going back to my "dungeon" home office. As long as I kept the balance I was good. But if you can't handle the relative "solitude" of a home-office, without co-workers nearby it becomes a mental health issue.
The Impact on Mental Health of Working From Home
Working from home as many of us had to do because of the pandemic can put a significant strain on your mental health.
CBS 60 Minutes showed a segment last Sunday about the young working generation. They asked two girls, what did you lose during the pandemic and both confessed to losing themselves.
being at home, whether you're a student or employee or self-employed can, if not managed well enough and not properly balanced, become a mental health issue.
very early on when I started working at home, in my basement office, this was well before the pandemic, I started noticing a type of heavy curtain coming down my forehead, over my eyes down to my sinuses. I felt down, heavy and not my optimistic self for quite a while. Until a Therapist friend of ours suggested a "happy Lamp". I started laughing, mostly because of the name. But then I recalled the days we lived in Stockholm Sweden in my Gillette years, where winters were long and dark. Scandinavian children, when drawing pictures in art-class, overwhelmingly drew scenarios with the sun shining. The "happy Lamp" of, in my case, the brand Verilux, worked wonders. I have it on one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Home office, in the basement, no windows, keeps me focussed, but the Happy Lamp keeps me away from feeling dark, dingy and depressed. And my errands for one bunch of banana's helps as well.
The Financial Impact of Working from Home
There is no doubt that since we, my wife and I, started working at home our monthly costs have gone up significantly. We eat more, drink more (tea and coffee mostly), we have more lights on, we have more equipment, like computers on etc. etc.
The biggest impact is felt by the heating during the winter and the AC during the summer. Some of this is tax deductible but not as much as I would like.
In any case, one more thing to consider when thinking about working at home.
Working at Home with Limited Space
If you don't have space at home to have the spouse and/or children work in their own "home - office" that would be a clear deal-breaker.
having to sit in the kitchen trying to do your job while every household member comes in and out to get coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch is an impossible situation.
That would definitely be an absolute no-no to working from home.
Working at home with pets in the house
Although an argument can be made that pets keep you sane when working from home, if you're not disciplined enough, before you know your productive time will be reduced to shreds because your per "is so attractive".
So attractive to take out for a walk or simply play with.
The Impact of Neighbor's Noise on Working From Home
If you live in a condo, and your neighbors are loud, and noisy, it can distract. Whether they are hammering away on their next project or having the music too loud, some people cannot deal with that. You could put on noise cancelling headphones but having headphones on all day can be a chore!
Personally, I am not too quickly disturbed by noise around me because I have my own music on the whole day. It functions as white noise and largely cancels out any noise around me, neighbors, spouse other.
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