Some people really relish the idea of working from home. Oh! How naive of them. Little do they know, working from home comes with it’s own unique set of perks and pitfalls. Certain personality types are adept at dealing with said pitfalls, while for some others, it may drive them crazy. Hey, but you never know until you take the plunge.
So here’s a little cautionary tale about the negative effects of working from home.
PS: A funny little comic about the pros and cons of working from home:
The Damned Loneliness
Just your room and not another soul in sight. It’s usually something to look forward to after a hard day at work but imagine living like that for months. No matter how much of a misanthrope you are, you will miss human interaction. As the saying goes:
“No man is an island”
You will miss collaborating with people and bouncing ideas off them. Sure you can email or IM them but it doesn’t aid teamwork in quite the same way.
Pitfall No.2 : Distractions
I find that it requires super-human discipline or an especially pedantic client to keep working as per schedule. It may not seem like a challenge at first, getting rid of all the distractions the internet has to offer, but it creeps up slowly on you. Before you know, you are watching funny cat videos or reading news or arguing with your online friends. Believe it or not, you start to miss having a boss.
Procrastination and Lack of Productivity
Work quickly piles up amidst all the distractions. Combine that with the general lack of accountability and you will find yourself taking shortcuts to finish work. I am ashamed to admit it, but being someone who writes for a living, I too was drawn towards the charms of article spinners. I would use them when I was extremely tired to churn out some words. Needless to say, the quality of work suffered. The same goes for designers or coders. I know of designers who would use clip-art or templates just to finish a logo quickly. Procrastination can really run circles around your head and no matter how well you are being paid, it is sometimes difficult to get passionate about it all. I wrote a lengthy article about this as I struggle with procrastination the most.
Family and Relationships
Being a corporate slave is a great excuse to get out of family engagements. No one questions you if you say you aren’t getting a day off because of your mean boss. I’m being really honest here, but sometimes I would rather avoid certain weddings or parties. People just assume I am available and expect my attendance. And I have to make a strange excuses to get out of these.
There are also somethings about relationship that are hard to put into words:
Addictions Take A Toll
Again, being really honest, there are a few things I was addicted to. Multiplayer gaming for one, I know it’s very unbecoming for a 27 year old to be a gamer, but with the icon right there on the desktop, it would just take a double click of the mouse and I could escape all my woes (for a few hours). Then there was smoking and coffee, I could run through them like tomorrow doesn’t matter.
It’s hard to keep your addictions under control unless you are constantly busy with work. Even a 5-minute break and your mind goes back to either smoking or gaming or watching porn to relax. As they say:
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
It may seem extremely infantile and I never imagined I would struggle with these, but I did.
Did you have different experience working from home.? How do you manage to stay disciplined? I’m collecting all the resources I can to help people overcome these little irks. Comments are welcome.