For many employees, escaping the routine 9-5 and working from home is a common daydream. This option allows the individual to forgo the cubicle for the comforts of one’s own home, whether to start their own business or partake in freelance opportunities. A home-based job gives the individual the opportunity to become his or her own boss, with the ability to set their own hours and schedule. However, working from home is not for everyone, as it requires a certain degree of independence and self-motivation in order to get work done. The following are the most common challenges associated with working from home, which can give you a better idea of whether this lifestyle suits you:

1. It’s All On You
One of the main characteristics of a work-from-home job is the independence – the individual is able to decide their own schedule and which projects to work on, without the supervision of a manager. However, this freedom is a double edged sword, as you’ll need to be able to handle all tasks on your own. If you lack the organization and self-motivation needed in order to complete your work, then the freedom of a home environment may be all too overwhelming.

2. Less Distinction between Work and Home
Oftentimes, many employees look forward to the end of work so they can enjoy their free time at home. But for work-at-home individuals, this distinction between work and home becomes more and more blurred. Unless barriers are set, it can be difficult to restrain from answering another email or completing another task, taking up your valuable free time. Therefore, it’s important to set boundaries on time, making a clear distinction on when your work is over.

3. Too Much Distractions
For some individuals, the environment in which an employer is standing over their backs plays a major role in productivity. Stick these individuals in a home-work environment, and the distractions of everyday life can quickly overwhelm them. From funny websites, the outdoors and even phone calls, distractions are all throughout the home. If you have a family or even a pet, then sharing a space with them can further hinder you from your goals.

4. Loss of Productivity
The morning ritual of taking a shower and putting on fresh clothes is a great way to put individuals in the right tone for work. However, waking up and working in your pajamas can set a completely different tone to your work mood. Oftentimes, this will have an adverse effect on the individual’s productivity, and hinder the rest of the day. One way to avoid this is to treat the home office like a professional environment – clean up and dress in something other than your sleep clothes to get the day started out right.

5. Isolation
While working from home, one major fixture not seen in the home environment is colleagues and coworkers. There’s less chances for camaraderie and socializing, as the individual must get used to a solitary environment. There are several ways to get around this problem, whether through actively networking or working from a coffee shop or coworking space. But if you’re more of a social type and love to talk with fellow coworkers, then working at home may not be right for you.

Photo Credit:

Sara Fletcher is an avid blogger who writes on everything from the Job search and how to find Toronto Jobs. She has written on a variety of blogs and websites, and loves to learn all she can on the job hunt.

Views: 3265

Comment by Howard Ichiro Lim on August 15, 2012 at 12:31am

Great post!

I own a consulting & search firm and my tight knit group of employees all work in different time zones in different regions.  I agree with you that in order to be successful from working from home requires discipline, and it you don`t have it (along with a burning desire to be successful) you won`t get very far.

Still, I enjoy getting up out of bed and working from 4am - 7am, then hitting the gym for 2 - 3 hours and continuing my work day from there.  I can take breaks when I want them, and work when I want to.  All communications are done with my team over the internet or phone.  

Times are changing, it really depends on the person.  For some people, working from home is a very productive and lucrative option.  Thank you for sharing.

Comment by Ted Fitter on August 15, 2012 at 11:16am

Good post.

Might add, technology allows me the opportunity to work from my home office or my work office depending on my work mood and logistical needs [conference rooms, resource meetings etc].

Comment by Jim Murphy on August 15, 2012 at 11:30am

Hi Sara,

From my experience, I would add, knowing when to switch off, to the mix. It is just too easy to wander back into the home work space and carry on working, especially when you are working for yourself and trying hard to get a new business off the ground. The incentive, drive and ambition are yours to use (& abuse) but there is always a price to pay and the challenges you mention are very real and should not be underestimated.

That said, home working can be highly rewarding in personal and financial terms, however self-discipline is a must!

Great post, thank you for sharing.


Comment by Raphael Fang on August 15, 2012 at 11:43am

Working at home can be good and I have done it when I was self employed.  Eventually, the loneliness set it and I could no longer do it.  I had to join a firm to continue my career.  Working at home is so not for me.  If I were to do it again, I can only do it 2 days a week, 

Comment by Will Branning on August 15, 2012 at 5:39pm

I generally work from home on Fridays and I would say I am about 75-80% as productive at home vs the office. Distractions and a bit slower computer (with remote access to my office desktop) contribute to a little less productivity...good article!


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