With remote working becoming more popular, people are increasingly working from home.
Whilst there are many pros of working from home, as with anything it also has its cons and disadvantages which we’ll check out in this article.
Working at home can be a lonely endeavour. You will miss the interaction you used to have with colleagues, the banter in the kitchen or the chat on the way out at the end of the day.
These are things that working from home cannot replace.
Disadvantages of working from home
1. Meeting new people is difficult
Work is one of the best ways that we meet new people and find new friends. We spend our days working next to the same people and in close-knit teams. Humans are social animals and we need this interaction.
Home-working will seriously cut your opportunities for this kind of interaction. Working from home means that every day you’ll spend all day on your own.
You may have meetings planned, this is at least a little bit of interaction. Yet, these are likely to be formal, reporting to your boss for example. There will be no time for general chit-chat or any banter which are vital for your happiness and therefore productivity.
Especially if you’re working remotely and live far away from your workplace then you won’t be able to meet with colleagues after work for a pint. Being able to relax and chat with your workmates is a great way to destress after a tough day. You won’t be able to do this working from home.
What we suggest
Planning to meet up with friends and work colleagues is a great way to combat the loneliness of working from home and not meeting new people.
2. Days can become tedious
At work, there is always something interesting going on in the office. It could be as extravagant as the 2020 waste paper basket challenge or the office Olympics. It could be getting to know new employees, or even just chatting and having a joke with your workmates.
These things that are often perceived to be detrimental to your productivity have the opposite effect. They create team spirit and lighten the mood, improving the overall morale of the office. They can give you a few minutes of respite from your work. Allowing you to come back to it with fresh ideas and newfound motivation.
From home, you are unlikely to be involved with much of these office events or the general repartee between colleagues. It is likely you will only talk to colleagues during formal meetings where everyone is focused. You’ll be missing out on the general interaction with your colleagues, while also losing out on the productivity benefits that come with it.
What we suggest
Mixing your day up with tasks outside of work can really help in this regard. Going to the gym half way through your day is a great example.
3. Lack of team spirit
If the rest of your team is working together in the office and you’re the only remote worker then you will likely feel left out. The sense of belonging and working toward a common goal can be lost when working from home.
This can have knock-on effects on your productivity. Working in teams often boosts our individual productivity and creativity. We will work hard because we don’t want to let our teammates down, you want to do your fair share of the work.
The motivation for this strong work ethic comes from the sense of belonging and social integration within the team. If you are missing these key components then your self-motivation will be lacking and you will end up being less productive.
What we suggest
Similar to the first point, connect with your workmates or colleagues whether that’s over Zoom or in person. Both will help you feel part of the team once more.
4. Office spaces are good for your mental health
The openness and sociability of modern office spaces creates a brilliant environment in which employees can be productive. There is plenty of information out there that highlights the positive impacts of office working on mental health.
To do our best work we must be our best selves. It is widely known that happy employees will be the most productive.
Many offices, especially modern ones, are designed to create a great working environment. This often means an open plan design, one where there are no walls.
An open-plan office makes it easy for us to chat with our colleagues and check in with people all around the office and for them to check in with you.
At home, there will be no one to chat to and no one to check in on you. It can get very lonely and decrease your productivity.
Social interaction is vital for our mental health. We know that isolation and loneliness are key contributors to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. With pressure coming in from work as well, this can be exacerbated when working from home.
Co-working spaces could help
Co-working spaces are perfect to counter the majority of these issues. A coworking space is just like a normal office. However, they are often modern and spacious, with open-plan spaces designed to increase your productivity. There will be plenty of like-minded workers for you to interact with. It’s like a home away from home (just for work).
At co-working spaces, there will be a diverse range of people working with you. People from all backgrounds and places. All working in different sectors.
There could be someone working for a company you’re thinking of applying to. They could be your foot in the door.
There is often high turnover at coworking spaces. The people working there will change all the time creating a dynamic environment that you’ll love. This environment means that you will never get bored of the same old people, which can happen in an office.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with everyone in your coworking space. You may even find a business partner to start your own company with.
If you’ve made your mind up that you’re going to work remotely then what can you do? Don’t worry, you have plenty of options.
If you aren’t enjoying working from home and are missing out on the interaction with colleagues then why not turn to coworking spaces.
You are still a remote worker, maintaining all the benefits that remote working offers you. However, you’ll have a dynamic working environment with plenty of social interaction that suits your remote choices.