Drawbacks of Working From Home

July 25, 2016 § Leave a comment

Many love the idea of working from home. It can be more relaxing, more flexible, and save on travel times and costs. This has led some businesses to allow employees to work from home, either some of the time or permanently. There are potential drawbacks though, both from a business’s point of view and from an employee’s point of view.FOR A BUSINESSHarder to Judge PerformanceThe first potential negative as far as employers are concerned is that working from home can give employees the option of getting lazy. It may be easier to get away without doing as much work when you are out of the office. It can be too easy to get distracted, for example by the television or by children. Being out of the office makes it more difficult for businesses to judge how employees are performing – how much work they are doing and how well they are doing it.Solution: This depends on the industry, but having employees submit time sheets at the end of each day is a good idea. It is then possible to know what employees have been doing and how long it has taken them.SecurityIf people have to use the company computer when out of the office security can be an issue, especially if they are using their personal computers to connect to the company network. Personal computers may not have the required security, for example firewalls and antivirus software. Without the right security it may be possible for data to be interpreted and sensitive information hacked into. If data is transferred over a wireless network security problems are even more likely.Solution: Having minimum security standard for employees using their personal computers and making sure they stick to it is a good policy. Using a VPN, or virtual private network, is also an option. A VPN encrypts data as it is being transferred and therefore can ensure a business’s computer network remains safe.FOR EMPLOYEESSeparating Work and Home LifeSome prefer to keep their work and home lives separate, something that is hard to achieve if working from home. When you work elsewhere family time can begin when the working day ends. Working from home can make it feel like you never get away. There is a lack of variety as you are in the same place during the day, in the evening and at the weekends. This can lead to a feeling of boredom.Solution: It is a good idea to be strict with your time and have set working hours. Although this may have to vary to some extent it gives you a rough structure to your life. Maybe go for a walk at the beginning and end of your working day to put a gap between your work and home life.A Lack of CompanyWhen working at home you could be on your own all day and this can get lonely. It can also make your job more difficult; there is no-one to bounce ideas off and no-one to ask if you are finding a task problematic.Solution: There is no obvious solution to this. If you are not happy in this environment then working at home may not be for you.Constant InterruptionsBeing interrupted can be particularly problematic if you have children at home and this can make it difficult to get your work done. This can lead to having to work longer hours just to get the same amount of work done. Whenever someone knocks on the door or rings your phone you have to answer it, leading to more wasted time.Solution: If possible have a room that is exclusively your office. Make it clear to your family that work time is work time and they shouldn’t distract your unless absolutely necessary.Andrew Marshall ©

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