3 Reasons NOT To Work From Home

hate working from home reality

By Luke Roney

I'll admit it from the outset -- I do enjoy working from home. Occasionally. When there is some sort of complication or emergency on the home front, it's great to have a boss who's OK with me logging on remotely. But, working full-time from home (or from Starbucks) just isn't my cup of nonfat mocha latte, light on the whip.

And I can say that with confidence -- for I did, indeed, spend a year or so working remotely. So, here's my take on the oft-touted benefits of working from home:

1. Working in your pajamas isn't so great.

It's nuts, I know -- what kind of fool wouldn't want to spend the day working in the comfort of pajama pants and that white t-shirt that's developing holes in the left armpit?

Well -- this kind of fool. Believe it or not, I don't mind getting dressed for the day. Let's take it a bit further: I like to get dressed -- in the morning. Whoa. Hold off on those assumptions that I'm some sort of fop or fashionisto. I am not. In fact, the better part of my wardrobe comes from Costco.

The allure of working in your PJs evaporates quickly. At least it did for me. When you work from home day in and day out, you tend to head straight to the computer upon waking. Next thing you know, it's late afternoon and there you are, still in your pajamas. No need to get dressed now, bedtime will come soon enough -- and the cycle continues, days blend together in some indistinguishable pajama blur.

Just shower and get dressed before you head to the computer and start working, the apologist for remote working may say. Easier said than done, my friend. And it's not just me. While I don't have any hard data, the anecdotal evidence I've gathered indicates that many other work-from-homers also get stuck in the pajama trap.

More: How Workers Waste Time [Infographic]

2. More time with family ... not!

Sure, commuting is a drag -- and then there's that big chunk of time that you're actually at work. But, in my experience, working from home didn't really translate into more quality time with my family.

To be clear, I did see my wife and young son more -- but most of the time I was telling the poor kid to hush because I was on a conference call, or that we could go to the zoo after I finished just one more thing, and then one more thing after that. (And then, of course, I'd have to shower and get dressed because I was still stuck in my PJs -- and, wait a minute, is it Saturday? How'd that happen?)

Just establish a routine and stick to it, our remote-working apologist says. Again, nice goal -- but not always so attainable. The overriding reality of a home with small children is that routines just don't stick. It's tough to make a 2-year-old understand that just because I'm sitting on the couch (with the laptop, of course) it's not a good time to jump on my head. Because to him, it's the perfect time to jump on my head.

When it comes to family time, quantity does not trump quality.

3. Choose your own hours (as long as that means all hours).

Finally, by way of working from home, I'm in charge, the newbie remote worker rejoices. I'm the one who decides whether I work in the morning or the evening or even the middle of the night!

In my case, I ended up working in the morning, in the evening and in the middle of the night. When you work from home, the line between their time and my time blurs -- it all becomes our time and, really, that's mostly their time.

Simply set reasonable boundaries and enforce them, our apologist says. I say the best boundary is geographical distance from the actual place of work. It'd be nice to keep regular business hours and power down after eight hours while working remotely -- in practice, though, it just didn't work for me. When you live in the office, you're always on the clock.

OK, all of you who happily work from home...

Don't jump all over me for disparaging your beloved mode of working. I'm not saying that everyone who works from home will experience these frustrations, I'm just saying that I did. And so did plenty of my remote-working colleagues. For you, it may truly be utopia.
But, I caution, buyer beware -- working from home may not be all sunshine and roses.

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Tracy Gomez

Even if you have a job outside the home, that doesn't mean you cant earn a bit extra for putting in just a little bit of time a day. I'm talking about an hour and earning about $100! tmcash4.com

August 07 2014 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been working at a remote software position for a while now and it is amazing. The issue is you need to have a system in place, as you would with anything else. For example, every 3,000 miles, I change the oil in my car. Every 2 weeks I cut the grass. Every morning when I get up, I make it a point to take that shower, to get dressed, and after work, work out. It's important to keep the clothing on, and also set limits to the hours you DO actually work, because family should come first. I can see how some people would have problems with these items, but a little bit of a systematic approach goes a long way.

June 25 2013 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Edwards Anderson

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December 04 2012 at 5:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 03 2012 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brilliant article. You are absolutely right my friend. I had to laugh a little after reading these comments and your article when I noticed that I too am currently in my sweatpants. For an introvert, the Work From Home life can be a little.. "hermity". It's been so long since I've been outside that I have honestly forgotten what the sun looks like. But hey, I grew up in poverty. So it's kind of been imbedded into me to make as much money as I can, as often as I can. I love working from home. I love traffic. I love conversions. I absolutely love the pay check. Brilliant article. Thank you for the post! - http:stephenhamby.ws

October 02 2012 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chelsea Szczerba

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October 01 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well Luke - You're mostly - well actually - pretty much correct - as I'm sitting here in my sweat shorts early in the morning after waking up even EARLIER in the morning having "just one more thing I better do to make that report PERFECT!" And now 5 hours later,....I'm still here. went to bed without eating what one could call "dinner",...didn't shower today, brush my teeth or shave. Haven't walked the dog - I did let him out quick - now that I have him trained with treats to do his thing and run right back in for it. I'll feed and give fresh water to him then too. (If it weren't for having to stand at the door - I wouldn't even have the sweat shorts on - it'd just be me and my Fruit of the Looms - but it's amazing the timing around my house and when the neighbors pop out too - I wonder if my door has an alarm on it proclaiming my door is being opened!?) I have my Jeopardy, Who Wnt's 2B A Millionaire, and depending on the date and time at the bottom right on my computer - various other shows to remember to watch at times during my "work day". Oh, they definitely get a solid 8 hrs out of me. I like my work - but my "8" hours takes "16" hours most days. Which - looking at it now - SUCKS! The phone I can usually ignore - unless it's someone I need talk to. But the doorbell is a pain in the ass! If it weren't for the dog barking I'd probably miss it with my headphones on and all - but it's ALWAYS some idiot who can't read the "No Soliciters" sign - or the paper-boy, or someone wanting me to change cable or electric companies or one of the usual religious cults wanting to chat for a while about the Hell I'll be going to if I don't convert or give money. Yeah - Guess I should have a sign made up: "I'm At Home WORKING - This Does Not Mean I'm Waiting for Someone to Talk To or Otherwise Here to Answer the Door - Please Do Not Take This Personally As I Ignore Everyone Equally! Feel Free to Make An Appointment!" I'd leave my phone number - and then ignore the phone when they call to make said appointment. Then of course it's always a panic when I remember I promised someone to go with them somewhere and have to "Bust a Move" to do the S/S/Shave "thing" in 20 minutes AND walk the dog too! So I like working from home - even if they do have keystroke and sign-in code software that can tell when I'm on their system. Luckily it also indicates when I'm on or off since when I had my own system - I'd be doing something on mine that was supposed to go on theirs and converting from one matrix to another was a PITA! Good luck to all the other telecommuters out there! And man - I couldn't imagine doing this with kids around! I'd be in sweats the whole year round!

September 30 2012 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Having worked at home, I agree with all that was written except being distracted by kids...dont have any. It does help promote a better work/life balance

September 30 2012 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some people don't have the self discipline to work from home.
For the mature, it's great.

September 30 2012 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't believe the man was complaining . . . The article was HIS opinion of telecommuting . . . Some people love it . . . Some don't . . . I am unemployed and hsi article made alot of sense to me . . . All the man was doing was saying it wasn't for him . . . Not that he didn't like or appreciate having a job! Ligthen up, people! God bless!

September 30 2012 at 2:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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